Last of the Solar Powered Natural Plant Dyes of the summer, ’18

Dye Pots of Natural Plants

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

From left to right:  Rue Seed Pods & Stems, Oregon Grape Berries, Hollyhock Flowers, Crocsmia Flowers, Fennel Flower/Seed Pods

In Victoria there was a window of high heat from the sun these past two years that created a perfect opportunity to dye with plant materials using solar energy.  This year I used the pails pictured above for convenience and found that the glass is a higher heat that lasts even as the sun went down.  I also found that dye in glass left  more consistent absorption of dye into the material.  .

Rue Seed Pods & Stems

The dye from the Rue plant parts creates a nice tan with yellow tones.  I found infusing the plant in water under the suns solar heat takes a couple of days for the dye to emerge.  Rue can be used as a repellent so I used the water to steer ants away from my front door and off my driveway after I was finished with the dye!

Oregon Grape Berries

I found the dye infusion was immediate with Oregon Grape Berries.  To begin it was a beautiful purple that after a few days in the sun deepened into a navy blue shade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollyhock Flowers

The Hollyhock flowers create a beautiful shade of pink.  I love being able to pick fresh flower heads to add to the dye pot to continue adding depth to the colour.  This is one of the first plants I began infusing in water to create a dye.

Crocsmia Flowers

This plant turns the dye water to a bright orange.  However the dyed material turns a bright yellow with orange tones to it. This plant is also one of the first plants I experimented with.

Fennel Seed Pods & Stems

This plant creates a bright green with yellow tones.  It takes a few dyes to infuse with water in the sun before the colour emerges for dyeing. One has to be patient.

Read more and see pictures of Hollyhock and Crocsmia plant dyes


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Natural Dye Plants

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

Right from the dye Pot – Dyeing Cotton with Natural Fibers

Right from the Dye Pot – Cotton Dyed with Plant Fibers

Here are a few examples of cotton dyed with plants from the front and back yard!

Looking at the photo’s you may notice that some of these plants and material where dyed using solar power!  It’s fun and easy, simply put plants in a jar, fill with water, add the material and put the lid on.  Let it rest until for up to 4 or 4 days, if you can!

Once the material was taken out of the dye bath and hung to dry I didn’t want to throw the dye and plant material in the compost. Longing to capture some of its beauty I made plant fiber paper from it!

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


The garden plants & weeds used with dyed cotton

Bamboo – Leaves

 

Light shade of sage green 

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.

In this dye bath the bamboo leaves where brought to a boil and simmer with the cotton for a time and left for 24 hours.  More leaves where added and it was re-heated.  This was left for another 24 hours.  For future bamboo dye baths I would choose using solar and continue this process to achieve darker colours.


Bamboo – Stalks

 

Yellow highlighted pale shade of green!

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.

In this dye bath the bamboo stalks where brought to a boil and simmer with the cotton for a time and left for 24 hours.  More leaves where added and it was re-heated.  This was left for another 48 hours.   For future bamboo dye baths I would choose using solar and continue this process to achieve darker colours.


Butterfly Tree –  Flowers

 

Rich Shade of yellow! 

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.

One can use fresh or dried flowers.


Butterfly Tree – Leaves & Stems

 

Bright yellow!

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.

.more on dyeing with plants


Crocosmia

 

Bright Pale sunshine yellow!  

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.


Hollyhock

 

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.

Bright Shade of Pink with purple highlights! 


Maple – Pacific Northwest (red stems, purple & green sided leaves)

 

Pale Green with blue highlights! 

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.

.more on dyeing with plants


Thistle – Leaves

 

Warm shade of yellow!  

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.


Yellow Dock – Leaves & Seeds (that have turned red)

 

Deep warm yellow! 

This cotton was prepared with an alum mordant after a soda ash bath.


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Dyeing cotton using natural plant dyes

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

 

When the natural dye and material are both ready the material is added to the dye pot and left to sit for at least 12 hours. It can be left longer depending upon ones patience, time and energy!

The above material was left in the dye pot for about 16 hours.  Once removed it was lightly squeezed and hung to drip outside and then tumbled in a low heat.

The outcome is quite beautiful!

Many plants, leaves, stems, bark and roots can be used to make natural dyes.  It is as simple as adding to water!  It is the process of creating the dye and preparing the material that has more effort and takes time.

 

Three parts of five steps to dyeing naturally:

(Revised – August, 2018)

PART ONE

1.  Choose and gather the plant materials to explore with from your garden or neighbourhood

  • Leaves, Flowers, Stems or Roots

2.  Prepare the dye from the flowers, leaves, stems or roots that you have chosen

  • add water and plant dye to a container and set in sun to use solar heat or place on stove and simmer until reaching desired colour
    • I choose the sun and solar heat due to the ease and savings.  On the stove it is a matter of leaving it at a low heat for hours.

3.  Filter out plant material when desired colour is reached

PART TWO

4.  While waiting for plants to create a natural dye choose and prepare the material to absorb the colour.  This consists of:

  • Scouring  the material – info link below
  • Mordant the material – info link below

PART THREE

5.  Combine the material and the natural dye and depending upon the dye bath let set or swish the material through the bath evenly.  I have discovered for the Butterfly Tree the material and dye bath can be easily sit for hours to darken.  For the Butterbur dye bath the material needs to be laided out evenly without an bunches or the dye will be spotted.


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