Urban Dyeing Recipes Zine

Last week, I attended an amazing "Make Your Own Zine" course run by Typewronger Books in Edinburgh. In case you're wondering, Zine is short for fanzine or magazine. Typewronger have a Risograph electronic screenprinting machine called Lyra that uses ecologically friendly bran oil based inks to print onto uncoated A3 paper which is then folded and cut into an A6 booklet.

I carefully planned my zine in advance as I wanted to create a wee pamphlet with some of my urban dyeing recipes that I have been slowly formulating over the last three years during my various dyeing experiments and with my medical herbalist hat on.

Making the zine was such a fascinating process. First, we made two paper A3 templates for Lyra to electronically scan into her memory thus creating two stencils, one for each of my chosen colours of blue and red. Using a light box allowed me to check that my two templates matched up.


Once Lyra had scanned and printed my zine, I simply had to fold, cut and fold again to create my wee A6 booklet! I chose two colours of paper, natural and green with a matching bellyband.


The zine contains info on the following:

  • What you need to know before you start
  • Scouring & Mordanting
  • Plants to forage
  • Recipe - bark & cones
  • Recipe - berries
  • Recipe - fresh flowers & leaves
  • Some refs if you'd like to read/learn more.

Please note that these recipes and the info on foraging are intended for personal use only and NOT for commercial activity.

I'll be bringing copies of my zine firstly to the Scottish Wool Producers Showcase in Perth on Saturday 25th March to sell on the Bearford Originals stand, and then to the three in-person festivals and shows that I'll be doing this June. And as there is only so much info I was able to squeeze into an A6 size page, I have written complementary notes and posted them on my website under the heading Urban Dyeing.

Finally, as I have mainly been foraging alongside the Water of Leith, £1 from the sale of each zine will be donated to the Water of Leith Conservation Trust who do such an amazing job maintaining the river and providing educational resources.


Happy plant dyeing!

Sarah x



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