Dyeing Yarn Naturally with Eucalyptus Bark, A Tutorial

Early this morning, while walking in our garden, I could feel the slow approach of Autumn. The air was crisp and cool and sunsets seem to arrive earlier each day now… I thought today would be a lovely day to take a step towards Autumn and dye some Boucle’ mohair yarn in this lovely Autumn shade. I really do enjoy Autumn, it is my favourite season…
I am going to share a tutorial here with you of how I dyed my yarn, I am dyeing this yarn especially for Waldorf doll hair as I thought it would be a lovely addition to my shop… Quite a few months ago our family went on a bike ride together and we rested for a while in a park. The park had so many Eucalyptus trees and there was so much bark lying all over the grass. We collected some and brought it home and it does dye up so beautifully. I was amazed at how the water changed from clear to a delightful red brown as soon as the bark heated up in the water…
This is some of the Eucalyptus bark I used, 100 grams / 3.5 ounces dyes up 100 grams / 3.5 ounces of yarn. I broke the bark into small pieces and added it to the water and heated the pot until steaming and let it heat for about an hour.
Then turn off the heat and let it stand for about 12 hours, ensuring your bark is wonderfully wet and has let out most of its colour. When you are ready to dye your yarn, don’t let the water boil or it can change the water to a brown colour instead of the lovely red brown.
While the dye bath was heating up again slowly after standing for 12 hours or so, the boucle mohair yarn was soaking in water for about 20 minutes.  
This is the lovely red brown colour… Then, when the dye bath was warm, I strained it and just used the lovely rich liquid…
I squeezed out the excess water from the mohair yarn and added it to the warm dye bath. I let it steam, not boil, on a medium heat for about an hour. Then I let it cool down and rinsed the yarn out until there was no brown run off and the rinse water was clear.
I hung it out to dry.
It dried to a beautiful golden brown colour…

I am so happy with the colour. You can also save your bark and use it over 4 or 5 times again:)

Happy Monday everyone:)

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18 Responses to Dyeing Yarn Naturally with Eucalyptus Bark, A Tutorial

  1. CHILDHOOD MAGIC March 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    so amazing! I would love to experiment with this.

  2. Tammy March 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Oh, that is BEAUTIFUL!

  3. Hip Mountain Mama March 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Love this Mama! thanks for sharing

  4. Brynn March 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Wow that turned out so beautiful!

  5. Momwithahook March 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Oh, thank you so very much for sharing this tutorial. Very lovely process. Simple too. 🙂

  6. Valarie March 2, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    That yarn looks fabulous. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. Take care.

  7. Tan Family March 2, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    Beautiful color! Thank you for the easy-to-follow dyeing directions. We’ve dyed with eucalyptus leaves, but not the bark. The mohair will make pretty hair for dolls.

  8. Theresa March 2, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    So cool!

  9. Joy March 2, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    Ooh, that’s a lovely hair color! Thanks for sharing, Linda. 🙂

  10. Redbeet Mama March 2, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    Linda – I got such a tickle when I read this post – I never think about the seasons unfolding on the other side of my world. My post was about Spring unfolding…
    I love the color of your newly dyed hair! Just gorgeous. Might I say it would look good on me?
    Eucalyptus trees… I never saw one in real life but I use the oil during my mediation – great for clearing and centering.
    As always – love your beautiful photos.

  11. Rene' Sharp March 2, 2010 at 6:05 am #

    Love the colour of this yarn Linda. It looks so soft and squishy. What you going to knit with it?? Smiles

  12. Mamawild March 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Linda this is amazing. The color is simply beautiful. : )

  13. Jessica March 3, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    Wow–what an absolutely gorgeous color! So, so pretty.

    I have a bunch of alpaca wool that I need to wash & possibly dye (and eventually card)…but it is such an intimidating job!

    I’ll have to bookmark this post–this is SO lovely! 🙂

  14. Heather March 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    SO SO SO SO beautiful, thank you for sharing

  15. indigomumma April 3, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    wow! thank you so much – this looks so simple, i must give it a try. i also would like to try lichen – have you used that? i am wanting to read some of india flint’s books (i think i have her name right here) she uses alot of these techniques from what i hear xxx happy easter

  16. Linda April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Dear Indigomumma,
    I haven’t tried to dye with lichen yet:) Happy Easter to you too:)

  17. Charlis April 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Never thought of using eucalyptus bark for dyeing; thanks for the tutorial. Does the eucalyptus scent linger and, if so, does it provide any moth-repellent qualities to the yarn?

  18. dash robin January 23, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Thanks for sharing this fantastically inspiring tutorial-I think it is brilliant, your photos make the whole process come to life! I have added a link to this on my blog today and thank you warmly, best wishes, Kate

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