|Cotton fabric having a quick dip with the simmered blueberries.|
|Adding 1/4 cup of salt to my cherry liquid, prior to adding fabric for further simmering.|
|Immediately after rinsing - blueberry dipped and simmered on left, cherry dipped (lower) and simmered (top) on right.|
|Blueberry and cherry dyed after first gentle hand wash|
|Paler and greyer after cold machine wash|
|Roadside flowers - cosmos?|
|Deconstructed flower heads in a jar ready for 'solar' dyeing - no added heat|
|Turmeric - fresh grated, bottled paste and dry powder all added for no heat dyeing|
|Turmeric (left) and flowers (right), rinsed after overnight, no heat, soaking|
|Bright yellow - Turmeric dyeing after overnight soaking, no heat used|
|Mottled pink/yellow from flowers, bright yellow tumeric (fades in sunlight)|
Like a child playing, I've been enjoying experimented with natural dyeing, or as I like to think of it - deliberate staining. Using only edible plants with my cooking/heat dye trials, I figured I could do no harm. I began with some frozen blueberries and cherries, simmering gently in separate pots for around an hour. I dipped some wet cotton fabric in each. Pretty! After removing the fruit solids I added some salt as a colour fixative, simmering again with some extra pieces of fabric. Following thorough rinsing, air drying and ironing, the colours were delicate with a grey tone. After a machine wash the colours had disappeared further, leaving the fabric pieces looking more grey than blue or pink.
I was about to discard a small ageing bunch of flowers Friday night but thought I may as well try some no heat dyeing. In another glass container I experimented with a combination of turmeric - fresh, bottled paste and dry powder. The water didn't turn bright yellow until after I added the dry powder so I suspect it was the most powerful component. Both of these jars were left overnight to soak with no added heat. I was quite impressed with the results, especially the turmeric.
As you may know from staining bench tops or utensils with turmeric, the stain fades and disappears naturally with exposure to light. Knowing this I am happy to make some easy and fun decorations for our home and suspect they will end up on our Christmas tree next month. If they fade too much I guess I could always refresh their colour with another overnight soaking in turmeric. My natural dyed fabrics may not be suitable for making a quilt (yet?) but I don't mind for I am playfully enjoying the process, happy to be surprised along the way.
Sharing at WIP Wednesday.