Mordant Cotton: 2nd Step to dyeing naturally

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  –Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

The second step to prepare cotton for dyeing naturally is to put it into a solution to increase absorption of the natural dye.  I used Alum (Potassium Aluminum Sulfate).

This post may contain Affiliate Links, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

When researching the use of  Alum to prepare cotton it is usually recommended to follow a three-step bath process of using

  1. Alum, followed by a bath of
  2. Tannin,  followed by another bath of
  3. Alum

Well I was experimenting and only did one bath of Alum.  I was using a product from an art store for marbling fabric and realized that it may be possible to use one bath.  This one step is usually done when using aluminium acetate, not sulfate!  The only difference is going to be in the depth of the colour.

The Process:

  1. I added 1/3 cup of Alum into a small dish of  hot tap water to dissolve.
  2. Filled a pot with hot tap water
  3. Rinse cotton in warm water and added it to the Alum bath to infuse overnight.  (you can leave material in alum water for up to 4 days!)

Once you take cotton out of the alum you can let it dry without rinsing out Alum or use it to dye!  Remember to leave Alum in.


Dyeing naturally with plants


One should be careful using any product like Alum ensuring not to splash it on bare skin or breath in the chemical reaction of adding the ash to the water.  With this in mind one is advised to wear gloves, glasses and a mask.  This is not to create fear of experimenting yourself, just advice to be cautious.  If splashed, flush with water.  

 

Making Natural Plant Dye using Buddleia davidii

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

 

Commonly called the Butterfly Bush in our #yyj region, the plant parts of the Buddleia davidii can be used to create deep shades of yellow dye for paper, wool and fabrics.  In the above photo I chose to dye 2 pieces of cotton fabric using different parts of this trees plant material. The fabric on the left is a dye made from the flowers of this tree and the fabric on the right is created from the branches and leaves.  The deeper color on the left reminds me of the vibrant colors often worn by Tibetan Buddhist Monks.

Creating plant dye naturally is fun, simple, educational and easy.  I wish they would engage kids in our classrooms in their art or science classes!  

The steps to  create the dye – you can substitute other flowers, leaves, stems and roots!  

  1. I began by picking diminishing flowers from a friends tree remembering to  cut higher up the branch to get limbs and leaves.
  2. Separating them into two batches and putting them into two large pots.  The flowers in one and the leaves and limbs in another.
  3. Filling the pots with water completely covering the plant materials and heated to a boil.  Once boiling turned down to simmer for 20 minutes and then left to sit overnight.
  4. The plant materials where then strained out leaving the liquid to infuse the material.

The dye bath created from the flowers was thicker and much deeper in color than the bath created from the leaves and limbs.

Here are some samples of the dye bath water at intervals.:  The first picture was taken immediately after adding water to the pot and covering the materials.  Each of the next photos were taken as the water came to a boil at 5 to 10 minute intervals.

 

 


The material was added to the natural dye water and brought up to a boil on the *stove and reduced to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  This was then left to sit for a number of hours (overnight).  You can leave this to sit longer.  I have left dye infusions to sit for a few days to obtain a solid colour.

*I have begun to explore with solar energy to dye by placing a glass jar of water, plant parts and material in the sun to heat and sit infusing!  Wouldn’t this be interesting for children?

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Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP:  This post may contain Affiliate Links, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

  

 

Species: Malvaceae (Mallow) Family

Language of Flowers Meaning:  Ambition

The beautiful flowers of the Hollyhock can be used to make cold infusions,  tea and substituted for Wild Marsh Mallow.  The fibrous stalks can be used in paper making, the roots in medicinal’s and the leaves and flowers for eating in your summer salads or in an infusion for hair and skin!

A completely easy to grow flower that offers more than height and beauty! A perennial that grows well in hard soils and is drought resistant!

Flowers

The beautiful flowers can be eaten fresh or dried for later use. They make a wonderful water infusion for bathing, drinking and soap making.  They are demulcent, diuretic and emollient.

When making a medicinal infusion it is best to use cold water and not hot.  Heat will cut the effectiveness of the infusion. Rest unblemished flowers in cool water overnight (approx. 8 hours), strain and enjoy.  This infusion is great for soothing your gastrointestinal, respiratory and urinary tracts, it induces urination, soothes ulcers and relieves a sore throat and dry cough. It can be used as an emollient for skin and hair.

Leaves

The leaves can also be eaten fresh, raw or steamed.  However this is a plant you may wish to eat leaves from when first emerging due to the fibrous material, or try chopping small into salads.  The leaves can also be heated to use as a poultice for splinters, inflammation or chapped skin.

Roots 

The roots are astringent and demulcent and contain a beneficial starch.  When crushed the roots can be applied as a poultice to ulcers. Taken internally, it can be used for dysentery.

Seeds

The seeds are used as a demulcent, diuretic and febrifuge.

Buy Canadian Hollyhock Seeds


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.


 

Sage

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Mortartea kettleEdibleDyedeer

sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage is a herb that is used to flavour recipes, a medicinal, a natural dye for fabric and restoring a darker color for graying hair, smudging and to ward off evil.  It is also a stinky plant to deer!

The recommended active life of a sage plant is two maybe three years, however, I have one that has traveled with me for over six years.  It is the one that I go to for adding sage to Christmas stuffing’s.  It is a tradition.  It is also the one that I have set an intention for protection in the placement of the pot in relationship to my front doors!

Constituents of Sage

Sage leaves contain tannins, estrogen, phenol acids, flavenoids, resin, saponins, silica, thujone and volatile oil.

Medicinal Uses of Sage

The medicinal use of sage are as an antibacterial, antihydrotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, stimulant, styptic, and tonic. 

  • Bacterial and Viral Conditions
  • Cardiovascular
  • Cold Sores
  • Gargle for: laryngitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, ulcerated throat, inflammation of tooth pulp, loose and bleeding teeth, preventing excessive flow of saliva, ulcerated or receding gums, ulcerated gums and mouth
  • Gastrointestinal Conditions
  • Glandular Conditions
  • Liver conditons
  • Menopausal sweating & hot flash’s
  • Mouth Sores
  • Regulates the menstrual cycle
  • Reduces perspiration
  • Salves & Washes for;  dandruff, insect bites, itchy skin, skin eruptions, treating sores, stop bleeding in all cuts
  • Sore Throats
  • Tooth Powder

Sage is used in Cosmetics and as a Hair Dye

Read more on Edible, Medicinal, Tea and Dye Flowers, Weeds & Plants


  • antibacterial –  destroys bacteria,  bactericide
  • antihydrotic  – reduces  perspiration
  • antiseptic – inhibits growth of microorganism and destroys pathogenic or putrefactive bacteria
  • antispasmodic – relieves spasms or cramps
  • antiviral – destroys viruses
  • aphrodisiac – arousing or increasing sexual desire or potency
  • astringent  – contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges
  • carminative  – eases pains, colic and expells gas from the intestines
  • stimulant – quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy
  • styptic – stops bleeding by contracting the blood vessels
  • tonic – tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Grape Hyacinth in time to dye Eggs for Easter!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Not EdibleDyeMortar2017-04-07 12.18.31

Grape Hyacinth flowers are blooming in time for dying your Easter Eggs!  In our test we had 15 flower heads and the egg color came out a light robin egg color.  If you are abundant in grape hyacinth flowers the darker your eggs will be.  As we added flowers the dye became stronger.  Grape Hyacinth is not edible, however historically was used to dye eggs in spring.

Gather your Grape Hyacinth flowers and bring to boil in water.  Let boil for a number of minutes before adding your eggs.  Boil eggs for 3 minutes and serve!

 

2017-04-07 13.34.30

Read more on Edible, Non-Edible, Medicinal and Dye, Plants


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.