Monday, 19 July 2010

Plant Magic

Natural dyeing is enjoying a resurgeance of interest, and this was an occasion when I followed the fashion.
 
Inspired by others I decided to have a go with materials I had to hand.

 
The colours here seem very "of the moment" and you might think that these pieces of cloth are steeping in strawberry juice (it not being the time of year for pomegranates).

 
But no, you  would be wrong.

 
I have coloured these various lengths of habotai silk, turban cotton, cotton gauze, fine linen and other lovely cloths using something I would normally consign to the compost bin without a second thought.



This fabric has all been coloured by the peel of two avocados, simmered in water for an hour. The strongest colour has been gained on the pieces of material added to the pot after half an hour, the rest has been steeped only in the liquid or simmered in the "exhaust". Pretty nifty.

I have two avocado stones plus two more avocados in the fridge (to eat) and so more opportunities to play with this techniques are open to me.

Whoever heard of avocado pink before?!

18 comments:

Julie said...

Who'd a thunk? The colours are beautiful, I hope they dry as lovely.

fiona d said...

that's lovely - beautiful shades. I've got an outside dyeing jar going (bought it at Woolfest, complete with madder and logwood) - I wonder if avocado would work as well just left in the sun for the rest of the summer - if there is any sun that is - you've inspired me to try it.

M.Kate said...

Avocados in pink? Never heard about it before but what a great and natural way to dye, and the colours turned up very pretty too :)

karen said...

I just love these pictures of blowing cloth! and I don't know about sexy, i wouldn't want to meet him in a dark underpass!!

The Happy Apple said...

Amazing..pink?! Just to let you know that the foq blog will be closing soon. Annabel x

Mermaid's Purse said...

Wow - who would have thought of avocado pink? Would you get a deeper colour by adding more avocado I wonder?

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Lovely colours ;o)

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Hi Sue

Sorry to worry you. I'm in Bridgwater at my parents, I was meant to go home on Sunday 22nd but my hubby has been delayed on a job and I'm hoping we will get away tomorrow :o)

Lots of love
Carolyn x

MargaretR said...

That is surprising Sue and as it happens I just love avocados. Not sure about all the steam in the flat though :(

arlee said...

WOW! Such gorgeous shades!!!! Is your water hard or soft?

Sue said...

My water is about as hard as you ca get. Sometimes I soften with a bit of washing soda, always do in my washing machine... Think I probably added a bit to this mix, come to think of it, and a splosh of white vinegar for the silk.

Karen Turner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paddysdaughter said...

Great colours. I bought three avocados today so I could try using peel and stone. Love them, so will have no trouble eating them either!

I came via Arlee's post too!
Cheers

Gina said...

What beautiful colours. I think I'll have to try this... and a good excuse for eating avocado. Thanks for leaving a comment on my anniversary post. Your name has gone into thre draw

oregonpatchworks said...

Beautiful colours and very nice ideas given by you, thanks for that :) i would surely try this, best part is that the raw materials are easily available :)

lisette said...

gorgeous!! i'm definitely trying the avocado dyeing - did you use a mordant?

Sue said...

No mordant, just a little washing soda and a little white vinegar.

Elizabeth said...

Did the same experiment and the result was just stunning just like yours!!!!