Thursday, November 3, 2011

Plant dyeing...

A friend Lesa and I have been experimenting with dyes created from locally found plant materials. I have used non toxic food colour to dye wool previously but I am keen to try 'going local' with my dye materials. 

The process is hit and miss, we tried using these gorgeously colourful silky oak flowers and got next to no colour :o) 
I really enjoy not knowing what will happen and learn best by doing and trying.

We found some lovely colours in mango leaves and bark and also lemon myrtle leaves and bark. 
(If you are keen to try using tree materials please remember barks must always gathered from small twigs not from the tree trunk, so as not to damage the tree.)

Here is some lovely merino, mohair and alpaca blend wool soaking up some lemon myrtle dye...

I love the scents released from boiling the lemon myrtle. 

The finished dyed yarns in skeins. 

I noticed tonight while looking through some photos taken at Stradbroke Island how similar the colours turned out to the tones in these Banksia pods. 

I will have a selection of yarns available at my next markets so catch me at the 
Village life market every Sunday 8-12 at Northey Street, Windsor
or the annual Brisstyle eco market on the 12th November 
or the Fairtade and Sustainable Fair at Peace hall, 
102 Macdonald rd, Albion from 10-2 this Saturday. 
Bye 'til then, happy creating,            


Remantics said...

Hello, Love your work. I live in Brisbane too. I did some dying last summer (plan to do some more now) using local plants - Blue Flax Lily berries and quandong fruit make a nice lavender colour, and hoop pine bark makes a nice pinky/brown. You probably know that onion skin makes a marvellous orange...... I wrote a blog post about it last November :

I love the colours you got using the lemon myrtle. Kind Regards, Karen

Chicken Willow said...

Love the colours you ended up with Kate!

dillpickle said...

Lovely colours! Yarn dying is on my list of things to try someday - as is spinning and getting my own flock of rare breed sheep...! As I said, someday :-)

Faeryfay said...

I love those shades! Divine dyeing!:-)