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Archive for July, 2013

As usual - a load of Tansy that gives a reliable yellow

As usual – a load of Tansy that gives a reliable yellow – some in my garden and lots growing wild along the railway tracks by my community garden

A small selection of images from my dye garden to record this summer’s crazy growth with our hottest July on record. You will notice a theme of yellow dye stuffs emerging. A limited colour palette so far in my dye garden, but yellow is a great base for greens (over-dyeing with blue) – plus you can somewhat change the colour depending on the mordant [a substance combined with the natural dye that fixes it to the fibre] that you use. The purple and blue colour I got on fabric from my iris’s (see previous post) is more a spring colour potential.

Weld - 8 feet tall

Weld – 8 feet tall – should give mucho yellow – lots of baby plants growing for next year

2013-06-23 16.43.38

Detail – Weld blossom – late June

Woad - ready to harvest for some soft blue colour

Woad – ready to harvest for some soft blue colour – many baby new plants as well.

100% wool fabric sucked up the yellow from a tansy dye bath

100% wool fabric sucked up the yellow from a recent tansy dye bath

Bright Lights Cosmos - hoping this will translate as actual orange on silk.

Bright Lights Cosmos – hoping this will translate well to the predicted yellow/orange on silk.

Detail - Bright Lights Cosmos

Detail – Bright Lights Cosmos – young blossom just opening – I had read from other natural dyers that the pink sensation cosmos don’t produce a dye – but I have used them for flower pounding on mordanted fabric and am getting good results. Maybe not suitable for wearables that will be washed but for art pieces I’m loving them!

Cosmos Sensation - flower pounded on mordanted gauze

Cosmos Sensation – flower pounded on mordanted gauze

Safflower - yellow and potential red - one of humanity's oldest crops!

Safflower – yellow and potential red – one of humanity’s oldest crops! It was exciting to see the small stand of them in my plot.

Detail - Safflower blossom

Detail – Safflower blossom 1 week later – I picked them all for drying – the process for dyeing is quite involved according to the references I have read – should be enough of them to experiment with on a small piece of silk

2013-08-08 17.46.38

Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstsonne’ It is amazingly tall and green-eyed – it’s on the list of dye plants for… yes wait for it… yellow! So will give it a try as this plant is now mature in my garden and is a very large stand that is overpowering my community garden neighbour’s plot.

2013-08-08 17.39.01

Rudbeckia blossom just opening…

2013-08-08 17.35.54

Coreopsis – for yellows, oranges, browns – according to Jenny Dean’s reference you can shift the PH by adding a small amount of acid (lemon juice) making it yield more yellow or a pinch of soda ash will bring out the reds. Pick when beginning to fade.

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