Friday, 4 June 2010

Eucalyptus-dyed Silk

I promised the results today, and here they are. Above, the fabric on the far left is the plain white habutai as I bought it. The middle piece is that which I enfolded with eucalyptus leaves before steaming for 45 minutes, then steeping overnight in the water I had boiled more leaves in. The piece on the right is that which just had the overnight steeping. The colour overall is a charming peachy-gold cream, a little like caramel or coffee. It has been hot here today and I could not face ironing the silk, but it dried on the line incredibly quickly.

Above is the darker cloth which has come out paler in this shot, but you can see the patches of deeper colour where the leaves lay against the silk. They are not clear images but darker patches. I think I must repeat this experiment without the overnight soaking in the dye water.
Here, the fabrics are reorganised with the undyed again to the left, then the overnight-soaked cloth and last on the right, the silk which was pleated with the leaves and then steamed before steaming.

The effects are subtle (though less so than the photos suggest) but lovely and would probably sit well with indigo-dyed material as well as rust-dyed - I must dig out my samples to confirm this. I have another length of habutai steeping in a glass jar on the windowsill, with the remaining leaves and their coloured water, to see what the sun will do to them. It was a great experiment to have done with some lovely results, and I am looking forward to playing some more. It's like magic to pick leaves off the ground and colour fabrics with them.
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Julie said...

This is fascinating and you do have some lovely results.

Dale Anne Potter said...

LOVELY results...thanks for posting them.

Nicola said...

I love the darker cloth, great results