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Colours from Nature

September 28, 2010

This summer I experimented with solar dyeing  using different materials  from the garden. Some things worked and some not so much. I top dyed over the beige ones. Alum was the only mordant I used other than liquid from rusty nails etc. and from a small copper pot–that’s it on the left.

 The blues are from natural indigo and the green is yellow top dyed with indigo. The background material is Japanese washi (handmade paper) dyed with onion skins and kakishibu.

As soon as I received my  copy of India Flint’s book ” Eco Colour” I had to get started. Using a heavy cotton table cloth from a charity shop I rolled up material from the garden, tied it up like a saugage and steamed it for an hour. The difficult part was leaving it untouched for 2 weeks. It started to go mouldy so I cheated and opened it after 10 days.

This was fun and a break from the control and structure of weaving. I’ll be doing more.


    This is my favorite time of year.When nature seems to be holding her breath, between summer and fall. A comfortable time filled with energy and preparations for the coming winter.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2010 6:13 pm

    Today I was thinking about the colors from the fall leaves and wondering if their colors could be absorbed in the same manner.


    • September 29, 2010 7:45 pm

      Hi Steph
      Many leaves will leave an impression, depending on the tannin content, but the colour will mainly be shades of brown.


  2. kathy ready permalink
    October 1, 2010 11:26 am

    Great site and I shall save it to my favorites…. I happened upon a patch of mushrooms and used them in a dye pot. I tryed the cotton 4/8 and it came out just the same mushroom color and I tryed a skein of wool and it came out a beautiful golden color.


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