Skeleton Leaves
Preserving Eco Prints

Natural Dyeing With Gum Leaves

  IP - Gum Dye 1

IP - Gum Dye 2

IP - Gum Dye 3

I was so happy to get back to the Darebin Parklands recently so that I could forage eucalyptus leaves for natural dyeing.  When I was last there, I'd seen some gorgeous gum leaves on the ground that were all mottled and multi-coloured. I'm not sure why they drop from the tree or how they get their colours but they were just so beautiful. I was inspired to try gum leaves by the beautiful wall hanging my friend Max made out of wool she had dyed herself.

I've already tried my hand at dyeing with sour grass flowers and acacia blossoms. I was keen to add some more colours to my rainbow of naturally dyed wool. I have this inkling of an idea that I want to make crochet something for myself to wear using wool I have dyed with plants I have foraged.

For this dye bath I recycled the water that had been used for eco dying some paper bundles. As well as water there were also aluminium tins and copper rods in the pot. I love the deep, deep brown colour I got for the dye water.


Dyeing With Eucalyptus Leaves

Big handful of gum leaves

Couple of litres of water

Stainless steel pot

Stainless steel bowl

50g wool


Bring the pot to the boil.

Simmer for a couple of hours.

Cool and strain into a stainless steel bowl.

Add your skein of wool.

Leave for at least 24 hours.

Rinse off excess dye.

Hand to dry in the shade.


Next: I'm going to try and dye with acacia pods. I'm hoping they're in season soon!