Monthly Archives: May 2017

Who’d Have Thought….

Don’t you just love a surprise ?

We have recently had a spell of heavy rain, just as the dark iris were in full swing.

Unknown allotment

They ended up getting soggier by the day and dripping with dark juice.

I have recently been reading ‘Eco Colour by India Flint ‘. It’s a fascinating book, India has been using native plants from around her Australian countryside to explore the process of natural dye stuffs with some amazing results.

eco book

So I was wondering, as you do, what could I do with all this lovely looking dye. I’d already had a go at cold bundling various types of plant stuff into pre-mordanted damp fabric and had a good reaction. This process meant wrapping and twisting layers of damp fabric and plant material together then tying it up tight. Water was sprayed on to it  regularly to keep it moist. After leaving for a few days it was unwrapped and dried away from sunlight. The picture doesn’t really do the colour justice as they are more intense than this.

plant dye samples

These were all done on natural fabrics, cotton, silk and muslin. But the lure of these soggy iris blooms was too much. After collecting and leaving said soggyness in a Kilner jar for a few days I ended up with a jar of what looked like brown beer brewing, rain water was added to this and all went into a large old disused jam pan, I was then able to dye a bigger load, again all natural fabrics, pre mordanted in Alum solution. Well imagine my surprise when the fabric hit the liquid it turned all shades of blue. I kept all this together in the shady part of my greenhouse under the staging for about a week, just about all the liquid had soaked in and evaporated to leave lots of lovely staining and dark marks where some of the soggy blooms had been laying.

I’m thinking of using the fabric to cover some books I have in mind to make. So now I’m looking at all other plants to see if they have any potential for the same process…watch this space. Sue

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Eco Colour India Flint, Eco plant Dying

It’s Been a While

It seems ages since I did a post, the weeks have flown by. The garden has now shifted into summer mode and it seems like everything is growing at twice it’s normal pace.

The new arch is up and running and my much photographed Wisteria is filling the larger space nicely. I lost a couple of Clematis from here but that means there’s now room for new ones.

We got up to a beautiful morning yesterday ( Sunday ) after having a small amount of very much needed rain during the night. We desperately need more…. ***

There’s loads to see here, but it’s always difficult to convey in pictures my view of it. Three peony have been and gone ‘Molly the Witch’, P’ Lutea and P’ Cambessedesii. Five different perennial wallflowers are flowering their socks off and the delphiniums are already head high. All the roses are responding well and saying thank you to all the TLC I gave them during the autumn and early spring. Baby blackbirds have flown the nest, running after their worn out parents begging for food, but the villain of a magpie is lurking about. I’ve already seen it pulling something apart in the tree, possibly a fledgling…..

Still seeing evidence of a hedgehog but only a fleeting sighting earlier in the year. Have a cheeky  field mouse again, pinching bird food.

All in all it’s a great time of year. Let’s hope the next few months give us as much pleasure….plus a lot more rain…..

***  Monday…They always say be careful what you wish for, well we have just had a good down pour and there’s much more to come this week….. I am grateful but it probably means working in the greenhouse.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized