Day 6: Elderberry Dye
Despite the controversy over Elderberry and COVID19 lately, there is one thing I know for sure - it makes a damn gorgeous dye! Depending on how many berries you use and how you pre-treat your fibers, elderberry has the ability to transform white fiber to a light pink, lavender or deep purple.
I used dried Elderberry for my dye bath, but in the summer I cant wait to try fresh berries and see how the color differs!
To learn to pre-treat your fibers, check out my post here: (https://www.sashabotanica.com/post/pre-treating-fiber-before-dyeing)
1.) Making elderberry dye is basically like brewing a big pot of tea. Place your elderberries in a stainless steel pot, and fill with enough water for your fiber to float around freely. For my small silk scarf I used about 1/4 cup of dried elderberries.
2.) Turn your burner to medium/low and bring the water and elderberries to a low simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Depending on how many berries you use, you can achieve a light pink, lavender or deep purple shade.
3.) After the hour is up (you can always steep longer too if youd like), strain out your elderberries and place your pre-treated fiber in the pot.
4.) Keep the heat at a low simmer and stir your fiber frequently, to make sure there are no trapped air bubbles and that the color dyes evenly. I kept my silk scarf in for about an hour, but you can keep it in overnight if youd like. If you plan to overnight your fiber, turn the heat off after 1 hour and let sit overnight at room temperature.
5.) Once the color is where you want it to be, remove the fiber, rinse, and hang to dry out of direct sunlight.