Monday, 28 August 2017

Natural Dye Garden at The National Wool Museum of Wales

When my speech therapist told me about the natural dye garden she had been part of creating at the National Wool Museum of Wales, I couldn't wait to visit. 

Based in Drefach, it took me only 20 minutes to get there in my car. It was such a lovely visit and I felt totally inspired.

So, I thought I would do a series of blogs about my time there, this being the first. 

These pictures are of all the flowers in the Natural Dye Garden that is sited just outside the Museum building itself.

The funny thing is that although some plants look one colour, when prepared for natural dying, they come out a completely different one.

Sometimes it is the leaves that are used and other times it is the flower heads.

I love that these recipes are ancient. Take Woad for instance, the Celts used to use the indigo dye from the leaves to paint onto their faces.

Flowers are so beautiful to look at. They lift the soul. They give us wonderful aromas and their essential oils can help to give us a sense of healing. I am already deeply living the healing aroma of flowers with my essential oils, infusing my wool with them throughout the process of washing to weaving my fleeces but now I feel totally inspired to make my own natural dyes.

Except I would like to experiment using the flowers of my garden, of the woods across the road from my little weaver's cottage. What colours are in the flora and fauna of my village?

Living with a chronic illness is at times traumatic. At first, I drowned in how small my world had become. So, I made the decision that although my world is small, I would dig deeper into it and the joy of this is beyond words. If you had told me that I would be visiting flower beds at the National Wool Museum to become inspired to make natural dyes from the flowers in my village, undoubtedly I would have laughed because although I would have thought that it sounded like a perfectly beautiful thing to do, I wouldn't have had the time.

Make the time, my friends, make the time to ground yourself in the magic of small. It is humans that have placed a value judgement on size, not nature.

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