Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Natural dye demonstration

Last night I demonstrated natural dying to the W. Mi. Herb Society. The meeting was held at PJ's fine arts studio. She is a professional artist and art teacher.
Her studio was a great place for the stoves and dye pots, no worry about spills, and plenty of room for the attendees.

I brought 6 dye pots fill with herbs and plants the attendees could have in their own gardens. Some I started ahead at home. I dyed wool yarn as a lot of the members are knitters, spinners, weavers and quilters. I thought they could share the yarn when it was finished. The plants I used were dill (it's the "Herb of the Year"), dried chamomile, beets (not really a great light fast dye), carrot tops, onion skins and black walnuts. (I did premordant all my yarn with alum at home).

This was a unexpected wonderful color, I chopped up carrot tops and simmered them in an iron pot on the wood stove (at home before the meeting) for a couple of days, adding the yarn after one day of simmering. The color is a beautiful "celery" green. Usually with the iron pot it turns out a saddened color.

Outside picture.

The onion skins always give a rich color. The piece of wool fabric on the table I dyed with beets last winter. I didn't get a picture of the yarn dyed with the beets or dill, after I wash and dry them I will post the pictures.

This yarn was dyed with the dried chamomile flowers. Not only did the dye bath smell wonderful the yarn is a beautiful creamy yellow.

I talked about premordanting the wool with alum and showed all of my natural dyed quilts I've made (of course the picture that was taken is the quilt I just showed you a couple of blogs ago).

Just a reminder that daffodils make a beautiful creamy yellow dye on wool. One of the secrets is to pick the flowers and soak them in water a week before putting it all in the dye pot. I have 3 jars full lined up on my window sill solar cooking.

This was a piece painted by a student at the studio. Her name is LynnMarie. I love all the texture in the hair and the hat is 3 dimensional with an applied piece of fabric that has been painted.

1 comment:

Deb H said...

As always, I wish I could've been there! It looks like a great Demo. What a nice studio space! Love the art!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo