Tuesday, May 01, 2012

dyeing with Creeping Charlie - glechoma hederacea

After dyeing with wld strawberry leaves last week my eyes rested on another invasive little wonder, the Creeping Charlie that has covered one of my garden beds.  Charlie was a stowaway, coming here when we moved from Illinois, in a potted plant.  Anyone who has this in their yard knows how happily it spreads, choking out other plants.  I thought if I could coax color from it, it might just prove to be useful.

I've previously tried Charlie as tea, the leaves are edible, but it was a bit bitter for my taste.  I was thrilled then when I found that it did give some color when tossed in the dye pot.  The results are a subtle minty green on cotton and a slightly yellow-green on wool and silk.  I used alum as a mordant on all of the fibers.

\Since there is no fear of removing all of this dyestuff from its environment, I've continued to harvest.  Even if I *think* I've picked it all, it will be back next year in full force.  Nice in terms of the dye pot, less so in terms of my chamomile garden.

Now, what's next?  Hmmm...


Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

oooh that green is so nice ! Well done for finding a new source of abundant dye ! :) Yay !

Caitlin said...

Last night I was trying to figure out what this little guy was. It is everywhere around Mud Lake. Thanks for identifying it for me. I love that mint green colour that it gave.

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

I'm going to try dyeing with that plant also, I have a good "crop" of them in my gardens. Never can get rid of them. Great mint green color.

Margie Oomen said...

cant wait to see what is next
i have had little time to dye so i am just harvesting flowers and freezing them for now:)

k said...

it's always nice when you can find a use like that for an otherwise invasive or annoying plant. nice soft colour you got.

KristĂ­n Hrund said...

I really love to read about your dyeing experiments and your photos are wonderful! :-) I´ve tryed red cabbage but didn´t get any colour out of it - next time I´ll try the same thing you did!
I do a lot of natural dyeing myself, and I use things I find here in Iceland like different kind of flowers, roots, leaves from trees, lichen (one of my favorite), all kind of berries and I´ve also been experimenting with seaweed - of course I also use things from my kitchen like tee, coffee, onion peel... (you can read about some of those things on my blog) greetings from Iceland!


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