Natural dyes of Guatemala

Natural dyes of Guatemala

During our trip to Guatemala we met with Lema Cooperative to experience first hand the dyeing process using local native plants. 

We worked with chilten leaves to create green, zacatinta bark for blue, and achiote shrub for orange and got curious to see what other natural local plants were used to create dye so when we met up with Ingrid in San Juan La Laguna from the cooperative Madres Solteras, we decided to dig deeper into the indigenous natural dying and weaving techniques (more on the background of this amazing cooperative in another journal post!). 

spinning cotton fibersNow before we could dye anything we have to have natural cotton yarn. Cotton needs to be spun, that's how we get the yarn. There are no fancy machines when spinning the cotton. It is all done by hand. They make it look a lot easier than it really is. 
oak bark Now this soft rose pink comes from an oak bark! Really beautiful color.


Pepper leavesThese are hoja de pimienta or pepper leaves. They are used to create this light pale yellow.


avocado barkCan you guess what plant this is? This is actually avocado bark! It gives this beige orange. 


coconut shellThis next natural plant is a coconut shell husked and it brings this ivory cream touch to the cotton. 


llamo barkFor this warm chocolate brown, a native bark called llamo bark is used. 


Annatto SeedsIt's amazing what plants can do. These Annato Seeds give the cotton this bright red/orange.


BeetsI am curious to try this at home and see what I get with my yarn. This beet brings a dark rose pink color.


dying processVery similar to the steps we took with Rosa from Lema Cooperative, we soaked the cotton, and then boiled the plants with the cotton yarn.


dying processHow cool is this?!

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