I had a nice dyeing surprise the other day. I was looking around outside, thinking about what's in abundance, when I noticed the reddish stems on the wild strawberry plants. I wondered if they might give off any color, and since there are literally millions of them in my yard, I gathered some leaves for the dye pot.
Since so many of the plants grow in shade, they never give fruit, but as I found out they do give color.
I used an alum mordant on all of my fiber. On cotton I got a rustic yellow, a pastel yellow when a tsp of ammonia was added, and a greyish green with an iron overdip.
The silk and wool picked up similar shades, with the plain alum mordanted fiber looking more tan than yellow. The silk with the ammonia is such a bright yellow it almost looks neon. (though you can't tell so much from my photos)
Cotton floss picked up just a bit of color, but also turned towards green with an iron overdip.
I've read that you can use these same plant leaves to make a tea, though I haven't tried it yet.
This was a pretty encouraging dye effort, and in keeping with the theme of abundance, I think I'll have a go at some of that creeping charlie in my flower bed next.