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summer dyeing

July 7, 2019

days/hours of indigo dyeing and it always seems like such a small return

years ago a friend was sewing pyjama bottoms from old damask linen tablecloths

nothing is safe when I start indigo dyeing – thought they needed brightening up

and I love how the pattern stands out – can you see it?

tidying the handspun stash cupboard I found a large ball of fine singles hemp

don’t know what I had planned but it isn’t going to happen

so I plied and dyed it – actually prefer the natural – good tapestry warp

then there was all this handspun, 2 ply (I like plying!) local yarn in a pale grey/brown

first it went into the indigo – 6 dips for the blue

2 dips for the green, then alum mordant and top dyed with yarrow (achillea)

this is a garden variety grown from seed – not the roadside weed – it grows 5 feet tall and is bright yellow

sorry the picture is fuzzy but this is the best, true colour

alum mordant for the yellow, it gives a very strong, bright colour (this is on a light grey wool)

when dyed over a grey/brown fleece the yarn has a heathery look

the plant is back in the pot, soaking for a few days then I’ll see what it does on white fibre

now off to pull weeds – why don’t the deer eat weeds??

p.s. the seventh day of the seventh month is Tanabata in Japan

I’ve hung my wishes in the maple tree

the origami cranes are made from indigo dyed fabric scraps

the weather feels like rain so they won’t stay out for long




12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2019 7:07 am

    Happy Tanabata…We celebrated too!


  2. July 9, 2019 2:24 pm

    Perhaps you should intersperse your hostas with artemisia, rosemary or lavender, if conditions allow… You’ve made me look at my three or four huge damask tablecloths with a speculative eye. Not, I think, pyjamas, but maybe crisp summer tunics…


  3. July 8, 2019 5:02 am

    What lovely colors! I have yellow yarrow in a pot. I need to set it loose in the garden. I also have several vintage damask tablecloths I’ve inherited and never used. I see a dyed and sewn project in my future. Thanks for the spark!


  4. July 8, 2019 3:39 am

    I think that’s a great approach to using old damask tablecloths. The quality of some of them is superb and, yet, they go unloved. PJ bottoms, in that wonderful blue, would be perfect!


  5. July 8, 2019 1:16 am

    such beautiful colours. Thank you for sharing.

    And MrG always complains that no-one has cross bred carrots with dandilions yet.


    • July 8, 2019 7:27 am

      Dawn – thank you. The hungry deer’s favorite snack is hosta, I live in a municipality that is proud of its gardens but our local politicians don’t want to upset the Bambi lovers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. July 7, 2019 6:26 pm

    that is an EXCELLENT question about deer and weeds. why not, indeed! i was just pulling weeds today, and thinking about what plants i could get to replace the ones that the deer have destroyed. your indigo vat results are fantastic! they’re like black holes or magnets, aren’t they? everything gets pulled in.


    • July 7, 2019 10:38 pm

      Aimee – being a home owner has its responsibilities! Deer don’t like anything that has a strong scent – and they LOVE hosta. Once the indigo fever gets hold of me it has to run its course. If I look after this one carefully and maintain a proper balance it can last a long time, everything will be blue.


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