Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dye plants from the garden

Our local herb society asked me to be their speaker for the April meeting and put on a natural dying demonstration. This weekend I began to play around with plants that could be in grown in the society members gardens. Dill being the "Herb of Year" was one of the plants I wanted to try. (Being that it is winter and snowing here I bought all my dye plants at our local grocery store). I used alum mortdented wool for all the dying.

Dill plants cut up

I rolled the dill plants in my wool and simmered it for a couple of hours then let it sit by the wood stove all weekend.

I had my hair cut at our local Aveda salon, the Aveda products are "green products" made with plants and flowers and smell wonderful. I asked my stylist if I could take with me a scoop of the Aveda tea leaves. I simmer it with bundled wool. One of the ingredient is licorice. My house was smelling good!

As I was fixing these beet greens for supper, I thought I'd try some on the fabric also.

I bundled some up in the wool.

After I cooked the greens I poured the water over the fabric and simmered it awhile.

It is so much fun when you open the package, just like a present. This was pretty but in the mean time I bought beet roots and chopped them up into a pot. I decided to throw this in with another piece of wool.

I simmered the roots and soaked both bundled wool the weekend on my wood stove.

Their color was so rich.

I also bought carrots with their top attached. I simmered them in my old iron pot trying to achieve green. I learned this from India Flints new book (more to follow on this).

Yesterday I washed (with a mild soap) and dried all the fabrics. They turned out beautiful. I cut off a few small strips and have them sitting in my south window to see how light sensitive they are. Clock wise from the top left the colors are from Aveda tea, bundled beet greens (I don't know if its from the first batch or just the beet roots, darn, I'm going to try another batch because it is full of different colors), chamomile tea (which is a very rich yellow), dill, beets, and a nice green from the carrot tops. Before the lecture I'm going to piece a small quilt using these and other dyed wool from onion skins, black walnuts, etc., all the dyes that grow in our local area.

I am very excited to show you my new natural dying book, Eco Colour by India Flint. It is filled with a lot of wonderful ideas. I love the way it was written, I felt like I was peeking into her personal journal. I also read she has another book coming out, I look forward to getting that one.
Her Blog www.prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.

Another one of my favorite natural dying books you cannot be without was out of print, but with much public pressure it will be back out in the fall. Wild Color by Jenny Dean. Jenny blog is www.jennydean,co.uk

Another one of my must have natural dying books (especially if you garden) is A dyers garden by Rita Buchanan. I don't know if she has a blog but if anyone does please pass on the address.

1 comment:

Vicki W said...

What great results!h

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo