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preparing to dye

August 13, 2019

this fig tree was planted 24 years ago

it has been a very good producer with more than enough for friends, the raccoons, starlings and me

I prune 6 – 8 feet off the branches every year

this year it tripled in size – a shocking sign of climate change – other gardeners are experiencing the same growth

at night the raccoons have their fill and leave a dozen half eaten ones on the ground

I cooked and strained a pot of them and added it to the indigo vat

the best fruit vat yet

the squirrels planted walnuts which grow quickly and become too large

I cut off all the branches and strip the bark to hopefully dye a dark brown

it will soak in the sun for a couple weeks

I’ve been busy spinning local wool  – 308gms. white Icelandic and 110gms. pale grey

ready for colour samples

a weaver friend who is moving on to other interests gave me 50gms. of silk hankies

can’t wait to start spinning

 I tear it into pencil thin roving and loosely wind into balls to make it easier to spin

wait until you see the natural dyes on silk


6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2019 1:43 pm

    You are the dye witch, always with a cauldron bubbling!


  2. August 14, 2019 3:53 am

    Dyeing is a complete mystery to me. There seems to be so much to learn!


    • August 14, 2019 7:41 am

      Kerry – I love to do it at this time of year when I’m out in the garden,the colours (even beige!) all go together so well. The study of colour involves so much history and the stories of cultures and people that it is an education in itself.


  3. Merna permalink
    August 13, 2019 5:14 pm

    Walnuts must be the easiest natural dye ever! A couple of years ago, I got a luscious dark brown on wool yarn using dry leaves raked up from under a walnut tree.
    I hope you’ll post the results of your fig enhanced indigo bath.


    • August 13, 2019 6:34 pm

      Merna – I never let the trees grow so don’t get nuts but have been given the green husks and they give the best dye. I am just taking a big pile of leaves to the recycle, nobody wanted them. Recent blogs show the results of dyeing in the fruit vat , don’t think the figs will make a difference in the colour. they are a better substitute than chemicals to keep the vat healthy.


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