Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My natural dying season begins

I'm so excited to be starting to natural dye fabrics this summer. My goal this summer is to find a green dye from Michigan plants without over dying yellow with indigo (which I do at the end of the summer with all the yellow fabrics I don't like). I thought I had a great start on my goal, I found a big field filled with the correct type of St. John's Wort, my friend Sandy drove me through the woods and into the field where we proceeded to pick the tiny little flowers for a hour. She has this great "Mule" that's a lot of fun to go "two-tracking" through the woods with. Two-tracking might be a Michigan word. This is my pot of St. John's Wort, I think if you double click on the picture you can see the tiny black dots along the edge of the plant. I followed the directions very carefully and put in my small piece of fabric, let it simmer and it came out green! Not dark green but a pretty green. I was suppose to put other fabrics in for other colors but the dye was exhausted. So the next day my husband drove me back to the field and we picked another ton of flowers. I brewed up another pot and thought I would put the same fabric in and it would turn out more even colored and darker.
I dropped it in and it instantly turned tan with rosy spots! I was not happy. I don't know why it did this. It's the end of the season for the flowers and I'm not getting the intense colors the books say you should, so next year in June I'll try again.
Then, I looked at my big rosemary plant and thought "let see what color I get from it", well I got green, not a wonderful green but it is green. I have 2 other pots developing, one is black-eye susan, which they say to let the flowers and fabric soak quite a while and I have my red clay from Utah developing with fabric. And I have a big patch of sage growing in my garden looking at me that I'm going to try.
Oh, and yesterday while on the net I found a natural dying class in Arizona. It is a 3 day intense dying workshop (all dying, no weaving) taught by a Navajo women I believe on the reservation. (You go out in the field and harvest the plants to dye with and dye over a fire outside) I called up the coordinator and register for next August!


Mayilsamy said...

Hallo Madam,

I N.Mayilsamy from India, from a place called Tirupur, Tamilnadu, India. I saw your natural dyeing work (yellow colour fabric)looks quite nice can pls explain me method by which we can naturally dye the fabric. In my place we have huge factory of Knitwear where they use very chemicals which are very bad for the environment. if you could tell me how to dye the fabric s naturally it will help for me to try them out here to help save the environment.

Looking forward for your reply, Regards, N.Mayilsamy

Deb H said...

Well if you don't like that first one, why don't you drop it in the Alum again, & see if it does something interesting? Maybe you'll find that lovely grey we found before!

The dye class sounds faboulous! can you tell Warren to sign me up for my next birthday?

Gaia Quilter said...

I tried to change the side bar for you. I switched it so most recent posts were at the top. That's the only way I could get the dates up, now 2007 is rolled into one. I think it may be the template you have that I can't make it exactly like mine, but I hope it's better for you.

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