More systematic natural dyeing


I love undoing bundles!



I am still going through Eco Colour by India Flint, finding I am open to so much more of her advice now that I have done a bit of bundling.This time I chose to look at two possible mordants.

The first was soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) ++++ which I picked fresh and steeped in boiling water for fifteen minutes.




The second was my own iron water .  Young at five days old, it was made from a lump of rusty iron and neat white vinegar. It had a lovely orangey crust on it.

I resolved not to boil in a dye bath this time; instead I steamed the bundles for two hours.

Skipping straight to the results,  I found that the iron water substantially enhanced the printing of the eucalypts, the peppermint (Agonis flexuosa), the lavender and the rosemary compared with the oxalis steeped samples.  The latter were in fact a bit “bleh”. I’m wondering if this is the fault of the way I made the oxalis bath or if it is just that the oxalic acid levels in the soursob are low relative to those in rhubarb leaves.

None of this blog deals with the steaming of wool and plant material.  Those specimens are still drying.  Iron water considerably enhanced the printing of rosemary, however.



Previously dyed silk fabric rinsed in iron water and wrapped with peppermint, Euc. wandoo and unknown Euc. species leaves.


Previously dyed silk now steeped in fresh oxalis tea and wrapped with lavender- still uninteresting.



Previously dyed silk now steeped in oxalis tea and wrapped with fresh oxalis – still boring.


Previously dyed silk now rinsed in iron water and wrapped in peppermint leaves. Lovely strong design.


The outermost of three previously dyed silk pieces rinsed in iron water and wrapped in peppermint, lavender, oxalis and rosemary leaves.


The middle layer of a three piece bundle.


The innermost layer.  This is the darkest, suggesting that the iron migrates into the middle during steaming.

This entry was posted in Iron mordant, Natural dyeing, Soursob mordant. Bookmark the permalink.

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