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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Seaweed - a dyeing-experiment

Since I started thinking about dyeing wool with natural dyes I´ve been wondering if it was possible to dye with seaweed. Motivated by some articles on the internet I started my seaweed-dyeing-adventure.
My first experiment was done with some very green seaweed I picked on my daily walk along the ocean. It looks a bit like grass... but nothing happend when I cooked it and I was very disappointed.

My second try was done with two different kind of seaweed (don´t know what they are called, just look at the pics below). I found it when I was walking with my two boys and my husband on a sunday at the beach at Seltjarnarnes, Grótta (pics above). With one kind of seaweed (ég held að það hafi verið söl), nothing happend, even if the dye it self became really red. But after deying my yarn with the other (blöðruþang) the yarn became pale-yellow/orange. At first I didn´t think it was a very interesting result. So once again I was quite disappointed and about to give this whole seaweed-thing up. But after rinsing it the true colour came out and my yarn turned out to have a really beautiful yellow colour! I´m really thrilled by this result and I´m definitely going to proceed my seaweed-dyeing-experiment! The light was not very good but here you have some pictures anyway:


No colour at all with this one :-(


  1. I read a description of seaweed dye in 'Weaving Tapestry in Rural Ireland: Tapéis Gael, Donegal' but haven't tried this myself. The local beaches aren't too far away (Pacific coast) so it's on the queue.

    It's dye bath is described as smelling pretty strong? Did you find that the case?

  2. Also, I should have added that the yellow is lovely.

  3. It´s an exciting thing and I really recomend it! The dye bath really did smell strong... it smelled just like the ocean - I don´t think it was a bad smell, it´s just a bit unusual for your kitchen to smell like the ocean!

  4. Mmmm sjávarlyktin er svo góð!
    Liturinn er flottur! Ég hafði aldrei tekið eftir því hvað er gulur liturinn flottur!

  5. Æðislegar myndirnar, mig langar að hoppa inn í þessa fyrstu og svo langar mig að borða garnið........yndislegur litur!!! Þú ert snillingur!

  6. Takk fyrir Jóhanna og dittó! :-)
    Rodrigo: ég segi það sama - lærði ekki að meta gulan fyrr en ég fór að lita með jurtum!

  7. Beautiful. I am about to try seaweed and have some of the bumpy stuff. Did you use a mordant?