Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Natural Dye Results - Parsley, Pomegranates, and Rust (oh my)

A quick peek at what's been in the dye jars lately. 

l to r - undyed, carrots, parsley, pomegranate

Last week I harvested the last of the parsley that had made it through snow and freezing temps.  Hardy stuff, that parsley.  I had made a parsley salad but there was so much parsley left over that I had to try dyeing with it.  I mordanted the wool with alum and I was suprised to pull a bright pale yellow from the vat.  

Next up was pomegranate.  This wool was also mordanted with alum and it produced an odd slightly mauve-y pink.  The color on the wool has faded slightly over the past few days so I question its lightfastness, but the cotton floss is still holding color nicely.  It's definitely worth trying again, and next time I think I might spring for a jar of juice rather than dealing with the whole fruit.  I love eating pomegranates so much that it was slightly painful to put it in a dye jar rather than my belly.

This is the result of my salt water and steel wool pad experiment from last week, on linen.  You can see the imprints of the rusty steel but the entire piece has a slight orangey color.  It looks quite lovely when held to the light.  I'd love to try wrapping fiber around rusty objects like fence posts and hardware, to see what happens.

I also used some carrot peelings, left over from one night's dinner, and they yielded a pale peachy-orange color when mordanted with salt.

All in all, I'm happy with the results and rather surprised by the parsley.  You just never know what you're going to get, right?

Happy Tuesday, all. 


Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

such wonderful results, my friend ! love the pomegranate result, but they're all fantastic !
and it's so true that you never know what you're going to get, with dye & plants. I hope to pick some thing this weekend for a new dye (it's been too long !) next week hopefully !

Anonymous said...

have you thought of wrapping a piece of wire around the fabric or wool and let it rust. I'm betting you would get a stripe pattern.
Or how about laying down a piece of hardware cloth or chicken wire, then place the fabric on the wire and roll the wire and fabric up. The alternating wire and fabric might produce an interesting pattern.

Centi said...

Lovely results! I like the parsley... never would have guessed it makes such a bright yellow.

Regina Moore said...

Wow! What a variety of lovely colors!

Marchi Wierson said...

really pretty lisa. I did a little test with my left over kale from dinner. Who knew science and leftovers were so fun!

Anonymous said...

that's lovely - and interesting - and available :), thanks for sharing.

k said...

great experiments in dyeing (every time i type "dying" and then have to correct myself, oops). i like the pomegranate in the top photo but then it looks a lot lighter in the lower image. all interesting results, anyway. i think playing with natural dyes is going to be a goal for the new year.

This is My Life said...

They turned out so lovely and natural. Just beautiful.

joanie said...

Lovely soft results. The steel wool experiment is great too. I can see your fence posts now, all wrapped up like packages :)

Margie Oomen said...

fun stuff all of it

Tumus said...

Have you ever thought of using your nose to pick your plant dyes? Think of the smells each of those plants has in the wild. I like to think that the more pungent and rich the aroma the more color and vibrancy it will yield.
Parsley for example is very sharp and "green" smelling. Pomegranates smell acidic and tart.
I dunno, give it a go. Pick our your next dye plant by smell :)

Unknown said...

The juice is not usually very light/color fast sadly (more of a stain, even with mordanting). The rind works much better as a dye- the rind I think has tannin which helps with color and light fastness (but makes the result darker- a light golden yellow instead of clear yellow).

Plus if you use the rind only as dye then you get to eat the seeds!


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