Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Natural Kitchen Dyes


Natural Kitchen Dyes is a primer and tutorial guide for organic plant based dyes written and curated by Alicia Hall. Due out 31st March 2022 from Pen & Sword on their White Owl imprint, it's 152 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

The book is presented in a sensible progression, with chapters flowing naturally into one another: gathering (potentially large amounts of) dye materials, choosing fabrics, necessary tools and supplies, mordanting with soya milk, colourfastness, the actual dyeing process, surface printing and inks, and tutorial projects. Readers should be aware that the information contained in the chapters is broad in scope, but very short on actual concrete tips and usable facts. It would be quite difficult, I think, to take this book as a total beginner and have enough information to make colorants and dye fabric without having other resources or a teacher available.

The pictures are appealing and restful. The author emphasizes safety and (where applicable) organic and easily sourced ingredients. The included projects are very simple and most are appealing. Natural dyeing is an experimental and experiential craft. It is almost impossible to get consistent results and the author's writing style goes with that flow. The projects (to me) have a very hippy-style earthy vibe and will appeal to readers who enjoy a more natural decor. The included lunch bag/cutlery roll tutorials are wonderful and very versatile. Full size templates are included in the book.

The book doesn't include an index or links for further reading, or a bibliography. The measurements included in the tutorials are in standard (metric) measures. There is no conversion tool in the book. Text and spelling are UK/standard English and shouldn't be problematic in context for readers in the USA.

I loved the easy and accessible prose and the lovely clear pictures. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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