Lessons from the Dye House 1: The legend of Dandelion

Legend has it …
 … That God sent an angel to earth during the creation of the world to ask all the flowers what they wished to wear. Of all the flowers only Dandelion was unsure and, not knowing what to tell the Angel, requested a day to think about it.
In her prayer to heaven, little Dandelion, who was then just a plant without color and without shape, saw the brightness and joy of the sun and said wanted to be like him. But when night fell she saw the moon, clear and full of charm, and decided she would rather have her ethereal robes. And then when the stars appeared, little Dandelion fell in love with them and decided she very much wanted to be like them.
The next day, the angel came to seek Dandelions reply, but she was still undecided whether to ask for clothes like the sun, the moon or the stars. So God reconciled with her and made her first golden-yellow petals, then a radiant, ethereal crown like the moon, and finally sent the hot wind of summer to transform her into many stars.
Today we will prepare for the first great experiment of spring, textile dyeing with dandelions. To begin the recipe, take a bag back and go hunting for the unmistakable yellow head of the dandelion. We only harvest the flowers, no leaves or stems, taking care not to collect more than two-thirds of the dandelion patch.
The proportion of dandelions to water is 1/3. Put one bowl of dandelion flowers in a large pot with 3 bowls of water and boil for 45 minutes.
At this point we introduce the raw wool into the bath for dyeing. The wool should first be soaked in warm water with mild soap.
If you extend the boiling time the color can be intensified. After boiling, the wool is removed, washed several times in clean water and left to dry. The result is a warm, fluffy yellow color, fluffy, pleasing to the eyes, but especially to the soul.
I hope you enjoyed the first lesson of the dye house, and I look forward to you showing me your results. Every  two weeks I will post another article on the plant dyeing. Lumps of sunshine in your hands, dyed with old recipes that I gladly learned with great love and now share with you.
* Note. To obtain a uniform color, stir the liquid occasionally and make sure the material stays completely submerged. If too much liquid evaporates during the dyeing process, you can top it up with more water.
This natural wool dyeing recipe was translated and edited from De Dimineata, a blog by the Cluj based jewelery designer Diana Calin. She uses natural methods and antiqued metals to create embroidered felt necklace pendants, jewelery and accessories. To purchase her products, check out her online shop.

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