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August 25, 2019

natural dyeing is always an adventure

surprises are part of the appeal – unless you are a control freak

I’ve dyed with dark purple hollyhocks many times over the years

the plants self-seed and I let them take over the back of the dye garden – they grow very tall

 gather the blossoms as they drop and dry them until the plants have stopped blooming

add water and sit in the sun, they have started to go mouldy

a square of wool felt and small skein of silk (alum mordant) have been in the pot for a week

it gets slimy but the plant material is easy to shake out – silk is center bottom

this is the surprise – the wool felt is green – soaked and washed and it is still green

samples from years past – no green

the plants didn’t get much water and it has been hotter than usual – climate change??

the indigo fruit vat is also a surprise

it has a thick – really thick – scum/foam on the top – is the fruit fermenting?

indigo wine!

the foam was easy to scoop off

 the vat underneath looks good – pH 11

this cotton fabric is as big as the small vat can accommodate

2 dips  and many more to go

think I’ll have to order more indigo after this

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2019 3:20 am

    Wait–the silk dyed purple and the wool dyed green? That’s so weird.


    • August 26, 2019 9:15 am

      Kerry – totally weird! I’ve put small skeins of wool and silk in the pot to see what happens.


  2. August 26, 2019 1:50 am

    That’s a very vibrant green 🙂


  3. August 25, 2019 4:36 pm

    It often surprises me how very strongly, brightly coloured flowers give a gentle pastel colour. I look at those hollyhocks and expect burgundy!


    • August 25, 2019 5:10 pm

      Kate – the dye colour is influenced by the chemicals in the plant which doesn’t necessarily influence the blossom colour.

      Liked by 1 person

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