Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Natural green dye

For the Fourth of July weekend we went North to a pow wow. One last camping trip before the grand children headed home. The grand children were invited to sit at the drum with grandpa during the pow wow, they are very good at playing and singing with the adults. Kids learn so quickly.

This little girl was so cute, she's a "fancy" dancer. Her mother made her a beautiful outfit.

The back of her shawl with turtle applique.
Her younger sister.

The back of her dance shawl with heart applique.

I loved this women's traditional outfit with dragon fly applique.

The back with a beautiful copper pin.

A field across from our camp was full of plants, the twins came to help me pick St. John's Wort for the dye pot. We also picked these mullein leaves, I thought I'd try them not really thinking I'd get much color.

This is the St Johns Wort plant, you have to pick the tiny, little yellow flowers, it takes a lot for a dye pot. Last year I tried dying with them (from a different area in the State) and I got a dull light gold. I thought I would give it one more try as dyers have had great results getting green and rusty red.

Back in the dye studio the kids rip up the mullein leaves for the dye pot.

After simmering the St. Johns Wort for an hour, then simmering wool fabric (premordanted with alum) I finally got green!!!! I can't believe it and it's a nice green. It said in my book to next add a piece of nonmordanted wool to the dye bath and you should get a rusty red, I don't think I had enough dye left I got pinky tan. (the next piece of fabric on the line).

I then simmered the mullein for a good hour then added in the premordanted wool and got this rich dark yellow. I was very surprised.

This is the fabric in a line up: St. Johns Wort (alum mordant), St. Johns Wort (no mordant), mullein.

1 comment:

Deb H said...

Wow, good color! It looks like fun getting the kids involved. I love the appliques too.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo