Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dyed threads

Today's reveal is a set of linen and cotton mix threads, the thread I've been using for Dorset buttons, dyed with natural materials.  

Reading left to right:  henna, red onionskin, mixed red berries, and spinach!  My neighbors are very excited about my dyeing experiments and presented me with a bag of henna to try, and the berries and spinach!  Small amounts, so I was only able to try the threads, but now I see the results, it's worth going for more quantity. 

In the picture it's hard to see the delicacy of the spinach green, which is lovely, and the henna gave a warm sort of tan shade. Two neighbors have now signed up to save all their onionskins for me from now, so happy to be part of the studio action.

I'll see how the threads all look once dry, but I'm hopeful about this batch. 

I am waiting on a delivery of alum in order to prepare the next lot of fabrics for dyeing.  I thought I could easily buy it locally at a supermarket spice section, since I used to do that back in the day. Not only was I mistaken, but nobody even knew what I was talking about!  so I ended up after four stores failed me, ordering from Amazon.

It's important for the process, as is prewashing the fabric. I'd washed most of the other items, and they dyed fairly evenly, but could be better, so I'd like to give them the best chance. I forgot entirely to wash the apron, which was probably full of size and all the stuff they treat cotton with for storage in warehouses, and it was a bit uneven, not awful, but I'd like to do better.   I have a special fabric wash from Dharma Traders for this,which I'll use today,  and tomorrow will see more dyeing, but today I probably need to go out and forage some more. 

I was hoping for beets in my farmshare, which didn't happen, but I will try them from their farmstand, and I'll see if there are any red cabbages in the Asian store, too.  Food and art and social life keep weaving themselves together.


  1. I am impressed the red berries have certainly taken a lot of dye,

  2. Spinach? I never would have guessed that would work. Amazing!


Thank you so much for commenting! it means a lot to me to know you're out there and reading and enjoying.