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

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


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Sun Powered Natural Plant Dye Explorations: ’18

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

I have been spoiled by the Butterfly Tree (Buddleia davidii) dye baths.  They have been easy with good results and  no complications.  The plant dye was absorbed evenly into the material in the tops pictured below even though they were not treated in a soda or alum bath.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Tops dyed with Butterfly Tree

Here is a picture below of a top that was prepared for dyeing ahead of time with soda ash and alum baths.  It is a top sourced second-hand with a fluorescent image that was too bright for my taste.  I wondered how dyeing it would calm it down.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Top after a Butterfly Tree Flower dye bath

It completely calmed the image colours, however the picture is not showing the depth of colour the dyed outcome actually is.  The material itself is patterned and the coloured material from the dye differentiates this pattern.  It dyed the raised pattern  more quickly that is darker of the lower pattern which dyed more slowly.

The ease and colour consistency of the earlier Butterfly Tree flower dye bathes was misleading.  I came away thinking, “Wow, this is easy!”  However I am discovering that not all plant dye baths will have the same outcomes.  This is defiantly a learning experience as I go.

Just below are some sample patches of some exciting new and surprising plant colours.  I am noticing that the plant parts that are making the darker colours I enjoy are actually considered invasive species here in #yyj’s Greater Victoria Region.

pic by Renee Lindstrom

Natural Plant Dyes

In this photo it shows the dye water after two days in the sun and clothes after a day in the sun.  Had I taken the clothes out at this point the second sample from the left would be a light green and the third a bright green.  Both nice colours.  From left to right the plants are:

  1.  Saint John’s Wort – Landscaping scrub variety
  2.  Butterbur Leaves
  3.  Dried Feverfew branch with spent flower cuttings
  4.  Dried Butterfly Tree Flower cuttings

Here are two samples of Feverfew and Saint John’s Wort dye bath samples that were left for in for 3 days.  The Feverfew stayed bright and deepened in colour while the Saint John’s Wort in the photo above is dove grey while now it darken into a stronger colour with black tones.

DSC_2667

Had I taken the top out of the Feverfew pot at 2 days it would have been an even and perfect dye absorption.  Unfortunately, I left the clothing in the pot with the plant matter to darken in the sun.  The plant material against the material created dark spots.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Top dyed with Feverfew – spotted after leaving in pot too long with plant material

I can type in the same for the Butterbur plant parts.  This plant is extreme in it colour variations and even having the material bunched up causes differences in the absorption of the colour.

Pic by Renee Lindstrom

Butterbur Plant Dye – clothing left in pot with plant material

I have just learned that when dyeing clothes to soak the plant material in the sun until reaching desire dye colour.  Then filter out the plant material before putting in the articles to dye.   I have come away now understanding that dyeing wool and clothing articles have differences.  Experiential learning!

A oberservation I had that I did not pay attention to at the time, is that when I first put in the clothing to absorb the colour they absorbed colour immediately.  I had my mind-set on slow-colouring and now realize that had I followed a similar pattern of moving the articles through the dye bath evenly the results may have been different.  Next time!

Now I am off to change the steps in my post about Dyeing cotton using Natural Plant Dyes! 

Read more on Natural Dye Plants, Dyeing with Butterfly Tree Parts

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


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