Skip to content

hollyhock purple

August 14, 2011


I’ve been freezing the hollyhock flowers as they start to fade.

using india Flint’s ice-flower dyeing method and approximately 4 oz. of frozen blossoms I dyed 2 oz. silk, 1/4 oz. cotton, 5 oz. knitted wool/silk  blend and a large linen damask napkin.

The silk and cotton were dyed first, then the knitting and finally the napkin in the exhaust bath. All were mordanted with alum.

I tried to get more seed but couldn’t find any at 3 different shops. It looks like there will be seeds on the plant – if I stop picking the flowers. I’ll let you know later and if anyone wants some you can let me know.



blending the silk and cotton, approximately 50/50, spinning it very fine and plying.

I love the colour – on all 4 fibres.

No beige, no yellow. Yipee!  


15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2013 6:06 pm

    Hello again, I just thought I would let you know that I have been patient and have done some more dyeing. I have posted about it and will do another post soon as I did two different experiments at the same time. I have used the fallen petals and some dried fallen petals without freezing them, it worked well. The dried petals got onto my damp silk that had been soaked in an alum solution and the colour immediately began to bleed, quite quickly. I couldn’t resist trying that out!
    So thanks again for your inspiration.


    • February 23, 2013 6:26 pm

      Mary – the results on your silk look wonderful. I love solar dyeing and you get hotter weather than we do. whatever works is good!


  2. December 27, 2012 10:46 pm

    I have found your post very useful, thanks for the detail. I am just experimenting and have used the flowers that dropped to the ground. They have produced a lovely pale purple dye bath. I am using silk fabric.


    • December 27, 2012 11:05 pm

      Mary – so happy that you are experimenting with it. on silk, with an alum mordant and a reasonable amt. of flowers you should get a medium depth of colour.


      • December 27, 2012 11:21 pm

        Thanks, I will try to be patient and wait for a good crop of flowers. We don’t have that many plants but I should be able to get a few. Now that I know it works I can wait for them to fall.


      • December 28, 2012 8:17 am

        Mary – you can freeze them until you have enough.


  3. August 25, 2011 7:31 am

    exceptionally fine color! have you tested for lightfastness? i don’t think hollyhocks will grow down here.


    • August 25, 2011 10:42 am

      the colour appears to be quite stable. I grow my hollyhocks in full sun but it is definitely not the strength/heat that you get.


  4. August 16, 2011 9:52 pm

    Good to hear the dropped ones are o.k. – I have been picking them up and they are the very dark purple flowers. Lots of them are drying right on the stalk and I just pull them off leaving the seed pod intact. So I will be collecting the seeds if anyone needs some.


  5. August 16, 2011 7:49 am

    I am wondering if flowers that have dried on the stalk will still have dye?


    • August 16, 2011 9:07 am

      I never have them dry on the stalk, they drop first but I do freeze the ones on the ground and they are still good for dye. I use only the dark purple ones.


  6. August 14, 2011 6:03 pm

    absolutely beautiful color, shimmery in the silk.


  7. Evelyn Oldroyd permalink
    August 14, 2011 4:42 pm

    Fabulous colour! I had better get out to the garden and save some of my hollyhock flowers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: