Shades of plants…

Update with photos of my work as a dyer using a fermentation technique.

Work in progress…

Shades of Bluebell flowers

Shades of Bluebell flowers

I do love these dye tests I’m doing right now. The final results will be less colourful but the whole fermentation process is intriguing and it still amazes me …

The ivy berries dyevat

The ivy berries dyevat with soaking fibers. So exciting…

liquidamber fermented dye

Results of some Liquidambar autumn leaves fermented dye.
Clockwise: linen cloth and thread, BFL lace yarn, alpaca-silk yarn, paper yarn

avocado pits and skins dye vat

Enough avocado pits and skins to start a dyevat. Both skins and pits are completely dry

avocado pits and skins

Avocado skins and pits dye on different fibers. Also the paper was painted with avocado based watercolour paint

Some of my dyevats

Some of my dyevats. So far so good…

One shade of hawthorn and four shades of madder

One shade of hawthorn berries and four shades of madder roots

The first five colours of a new project with at least fifty different colours. Quite an ambitious plan maybe, but hey, that’s only forty five left…

 common bugle flowers dyebad

The common bugle flowers dyebad after 2 days

My guess is it will give a light blue dye. Not sure though ! We’ll have to wait and see…

mysterious grey

Whoohoo ! Look at this mysterious grey…

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Work in process…

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the true shades of plants…

As promised, some pictures of my dye adventure of the last weeks

coreopsis-tinctoria

dyed with coreopsis flowers Coreopsis tinctoria

iris-pseudacacorus-dye-and-illustration

dyed with yellow flag, yellow iris root Iris pseudacorus

grey on merino and alpaca silk, more like silver really, but pink-goldish on silk

liriodedron-tulipifera

dyed with tulip tree leaves Liriodendron tulipifera

sambucus-ebulus-daneberry

dyed with danewort or dwarf elder berries Sambucus ebulus

drying-skeins-natural-dyes

some drying skeins…

All these colours are the result of a fermentation technique, that is to say, it involves a long process where no additional heating is involved, no metal salts and no chemicals are added. All you need really are plants and patience. And a passion for botanics and colours of course. The results are not what most people are used to, no flashing but vibrant colours. It’s the original shades of plants. It’s a whole new approach to dyes but at the same time it’s very ancient. And it’s a very feminine path too if I may say so…

More soon…

I’m a dyer and I love it

growing dye plants

Here some Japanese Indigo (Polygonum tinctorium) which I won’t harvest this year I just let them grow to get seeds, I hope there will be many.

outdoor dye vats

These strange objects are my dye vats which I cover with black plastic to enhance temperature which is important if you want the dye liquid to ferment

testing all kinds of dye plants

Smaller fermentation vats with all sorts of strange plants, testing, always testing…

preparing the goldenrod dye vat

Starting a Goldenrod dye vat (Solidago virgaurea)

collecting seeds

Another one of my passions is to collect seeds, not only dye plant seeds but also wild plants, medicinal herbs and vegetables seeds