Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dyeing all Day Long

I have been soaking and finding and organizing and dyeing and generally having a colorful time in the kitchen/studio. 

 To date, I've made dye from yellow onion skins

red onion skins

marigolds (grown by me)

and have roses in soak, (stolen under the rubric of deadheading next door)  Japanese maple leaves (stolen, I mean pruned, from next door neighbor friend) and kale .

Still to come are turmeric and later in the season acorns and the perennial black walnuts.

The Dorset buttons 

are in the red onionskin dye and are starting to look very nice. I'll leave them in a while before I rinse them. And since that was the original impetus, I decided that I was going to put linen backcloth to the smaller doorways, to make them work better in exhibit, and I might as well dye them myself, too.  The natural dyes are very soft and variegated and I think will work well with the general feeling of them.

Of course, most of this thinking and doing happened before I got the how to books from the library, one of which is very dry and documentary, also very old fashioned in its disregard for toxicity, and the other the one on top, very appealing, about natural dyeing without using toxic mordants where possible, and with great ideas. Including the one about using kale as a dyestuff.  

That will definitely help with the kale glut around here, not that kale's not very good for you and all that..anyway, I plan to own the better book and will have it in my hands ready for me to make notes in, in the next couple of days.  I am unlikely to do all the careful measuring she does, to get exactly the right combo of plant material and water, since I don't have to have washfast fabric, and I don't need to have a replicable color.  That's my story anyway.

One part that didn't work: the cherry leaves were a bust.  Nothing at all happened after the soaking and boiling and simmering and waiting.  

Just clear water.  Oh.  But they were not wild cherry, but rather a hybrid bush type and maybe it was a forlorn hope anyway.

And, aside from the official uses of these dyes, I think I'll do some dipdyeing with tshirts and other things that need a new lease of life.  That's where you dip just part of the garment into the dyebath, and let it sort of travel on its own up the shirt.  I fancy seeing how this works.  Probably a good idea to try this on tshirts before plunging in with my lovely linen.

So this was a day of resting and taking it easy. Or something.


margaret said...

so many things you are using, shame the cherry leaves did not work, I wonder about beetroot that should provide a good colour

mittens said...

beets are wonderful for dyeing, if youve ever see what they can do to a towel or a linen napkin or your best silk blouse...id just throw a few in a pot and see what happens...you might consider blueberries as well. They have a marvelous reddish purple color when cooked up...

ari_1965 said...

I'm wondering about cranberries.

I have a half-sister who is/was a wonder at rescuing old linens. She'd find something that one would hesitate to take free. Later, you'd see it and she had beautifully washed, starched, ironed, and, sometimes, dyed it with tea. You'd think that the piece had had tender loving care its whole existence. One of the angriest people I've ever known, but she is/was a wonder with fabric.

Asha Francis said...

Wow you have been busy turning your kitchen into a mini-lab. Very cool that you can get dyes from all of those.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Resting and taking it easy? Is that what you call it?? Would hate to see what would happen if you were actually BUSY!!!!