Alder Bark Natural Dye

While I was at Fish camp – I peeled bark off from an alder wood my brother cut down for smoking the salmon.  When I returned to Fairbanks- after talking with Lolly Carpluk and her mom – I was able to get instructions from Lolly and her mom to do my first experiment of natural dyes.  

By their instructions: I mixed together alder bark, salt and warm water.  I soaked the hairless seal skin into the mix for few days.  I checked it a few times until the desired red color was present.  I will experiment with soaking it in white vinegar first and try the alder dye again or visaversa. 

Author: Nasek'taq

Alaska Native Artist. Yup'ik woman from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) Alaska. I am in the process of making a Yup'ik woman's traditional fancy parka and a child size parka made out of Arctic Ground Squirrel and other Alaskan furs.