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the leaves are beginning to fall

August 6, 2016

dyeing – autumn colours

P1100219achillea – bright yellow yarrow

gives a strong yellow on silk (top) and wool

 it is also a long-lasting cut flower

the squirrels plant walnuts, which get out of control quickly

P1100218I chopped one back (trying to kill it!) and got a smashed finger

then peeled the bark, chopped it up and let it soak in the sun for a week

boiled it for an hour, removed the bark

and boiled silk and wool in the bath for another hour

P1100283the results are on the right, wool on the outside and then silk

moving left is wool and then silk dyed in just the leaves

a mordant isn’t always necessary with walnut but I used alum for all the dye pots

P1100273my favorite is the handspun silk dyed in the leaves

seen here in the monk’s belt weaving

can’t believe summer is flying by so quickly

20 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2016 4:23 am

    lovely walnut colors. we’re still frying here, but i’m changing scenery in september 🙂


    • August 10, 2016 8:04 am

      Neki – we have had a very dry summer but no excess heat. hope you are going somewhere nice.


  2. August 8, 2016 11:33 pm

    I recently had success with walnut husks, the same reddish brown you got on the wool. I gathered the fallen immature nuts from the road side. Just soaking them in water releases a lot of colour.


    • August 9, 2016 7:56 am

      Joelle – natural dyeing can become addictive, you have to work hard to get a good range of interesting colours. I find walnut – in all its forms – gives one of the best browns.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. August 8, 2016 8:34 am

    Love Autumnal colours. August is such a strange month, assumed to be Summer but really it is the beginning of Autumn, harvest time. I think that is why people are so often disappointed with their August holiday weather.


    • August 8, 2016 9:04 am

      Lis – it has been a strange summer, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it lasts a little longer. September is often a beautiful month here.


  4. vdbolyard permalink
    August 7, 2016 5:03 am

    there has been a turning, ever so gently (in north russell it was a hot and humid rush into a cooler, quieter morning). i miss the rowdy birdsong, but love how aughust holds us.


    • August 7, 2016 8:12 am

      Velma – we’ve had a cool summer and now the change has started. The garden needs rain, the leaves are already falling.


  5. August 7, 2016 3:05 am

    Those browns are beautiful–and my favorite is the one you used in the Monk’s belt, too–gorgeous color combination! Be careful, though, you need your fingers!


    • August 7, 2016 8:13 am

      Kerry – it is always fun to see what colours the garden will produce. all fingers still intact.


  6. August 7, 2016 2:59 am

    Wonderful colours.


  7. indigocarole permalink
    August 7, 2016 12:16 am

    It looks painful Jean, but the results are so beautiful. Are they black walnut trees? I tried the brown Xmas shells without success. They are not exactly fresh by the time they reach us! The leaves on my small gingko tree have a golden tinge I thought this week, so Autumn may be on its way.


    • August 7, 2016 8:27 am

      Carole – they are immature trees that have never grown old enough to produce nuts. You have to dye with the soft green outer shell covering, it gives a very strong dark brown. Yes, my tiny gingko is turning yellow, summer is slipping away.


  8. August 7, 2016 12:12 am

    Beautyful brown shades, especially in combination with indigo. I never tryed to dye with walnut bark, but willow.


    • August 7, 2016 8:33 am

      Birgit – what colour did you get with the willow? I don’t have access to a tree I can cut.


      • August 31, 2016 6:00 am

        Sorry, I have seen your question only now.
        We have lots of willows in our garden and from time to time they needed to be cut a bit. I achieved a soft hazlenut brown. A few days ago I tryed the fresh soft green bark from the branches and a pale yellow appears.


      • August 31, 2016 7:54 am

        Brigit – it is always fun to use materials you can gather close to home.


  9. Judi bushby permalink
    August 6, 2016 9:14 pm

    What wonderful colours


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