Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The search for dye plants

We spent a gorgeous day recently collecting sample plants of nature's bounty to do some "eco-dyeing" on silk scarves.
Our current roadsides are awash with wild helianthus and pokeberries. Wild sumac encircles abandoned ponds and we're careful to collect only what we will use.  But my own mini-farm offers up Rose of Sharon, wild buttercups, a lot of mimosa and pokeberry as well as grapes, dogwoods, oak, pear and maple...a lot of trees on my land that are soon to turn glorious colors.   In the meantime we go with greens, yellows...lol, even red clay and tobacco!

The bounty

Water from a spring and wild picking

 I soaked the scarves in a mordant, then layered our finds on top, covered them up, rolled and wrapped them and two days later, walla! Eco dyed scarves.

It's a lot of fun to collect, a lot of time to "do" and in the end, the appeal will be to a certain kind of scarf collector.  

But the search is inspiring, restful and a soothing "back to the earth" kind of methodology that I'll employ a bit more into my fiber art :-)
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