Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Natural Dyeing

I'd like to begin this post with a little of my personal natural dyeing history. I began natural dyeing around 1995 with my Kindred Spirit, Deb Hardman. We both are quilters and love the outdoors so natural dyeing fit right in with our life. We first began dyeing with cotton fabrics, the color was ok but not great. Once we found how wonderful wool took the dye we never looked back. I now have been dyeing almost 20 years and still love it just as much as the first day. When we started there wasn't much information out there, a few books but nothing like now.
 Next I discovered India Flint  and her book Eco Color, and a
whole new world in dyeing opened up for me. Thank you India for sharing your research and dyeing knowledge with us.  
This past weekend I spent the day outside with the last of my summer flowers and some rusty metal. I haven't dyed much with metal and want to explore it more.
With this first piece of wool I used a rusty piece (my grandson brought me home from the playground), dried eucalyptus, golden rod, cosmos etc.,   


next a piece of copper with woad leave, dyers coreopsis and eucalyptus,

rusty saw blade with flowers.

roll them all up and into the boing water.

in the bottom of the pot I put cut up oak branches and leaves.

A while later I had enough bundles to fill up 2 pots. I simmered them a  few hours and left them overnight.

Oh my gosh the fabrics turned out beautiful,

the pictures don't show the detail at all.

One saw blade gave a Chinese character look.

a fern became a blue print.

more rusty saw blade prints

And from India's other book "stuff, steep & store" I have a jar full of wool and flowers.
It's to pretty to open.

I hope this post doesn't seem to "choppy", I do my blog at work, while writing this post I've driven one customer home, answered the phone too many times to count, did up several work orders and checked out customers. So please excuse all the grammer issues.


Anonymous said...

The colors of the various pieces are beautiful!! What a fun way to spend a perfect fall fun to get your boys helping search for treasures to use in the dye pots. cannot wait to see how you use this in a quilt! Hope you enjoy this fall weekend coming up, sounds like the weather will be perfect time to enjoy the outdoors as well. Fall blessings on you my friend, Deb C

susan hemann said...

lovely dyeing!! love India Flint's work. wish I knew how to follow your blog by email!

Deb Hardman said...

Kathy I've been wishing yoy were here all weekend. Yesterday I went out & picked flowers & leaves & berries & used silk soaked in vinegar, for dying/Eco printing them. I was planning on doing some. Rust on cotton today, then see what the results are next week. I will post them then.

I wish we could play together again. It always was a balm to my soul to spend tose days with you. Love & misses xo

Peggy said...

This was so fun to read, Kathy -- I appreciate you sharing your dyeing experiences, I've learned so much from you in the time we've known each other and I thank you for that. (And India, too, of course!) I have canning jars brewing bundles, as well. Soon........
One of your wool cloths reminds me of a dream-catcher. Everything is just beautiful. xo

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

Deb C. thank you (as always) for your kind words. Hope to spend quilting time with you this Fall.
Susan, I'm not good with computers and not sure how to send you my blog email. Do you have a blog I can follow?
Deb H. I always think of you while dyeing, missing all our times we played together. Hopefully in a couple of years!
Peggy, I love dream-catchers, thank you for your kind words. I learn a lot from you also.

  • Deb Hardman
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