Friday, 1 August 2008
Garden bursting with dyes
This is the time of the year when I feel almost overwhelmed by the anount of dye in the garden. I have a sense of the dye garden exploding with colour. Dyers greenweed (genista tinctoria is bursting into flower, golden rod (solidago canadensis) is almost in full bloom, There is loads of yarrow ( achilleia miliefolium) and meadow sweet, the dyer's chamomile (anthemis tinctoria)is awash with golden flowers and the dyer knotweed polygonum inctoria and Chinese woad (isatis indogitica )in the new bed are doing really well. The colours are strong and vibrant too.
What is a poor dyer to do? Surprisingly enough during the year the yellows and greens are the colours I most often run out of, for example the green I made from overdying the yellow from dyers chamomile with indigo has already gone into making a bag , ( the one in the middle top). So this year, I thought I would dye a lot especially with the genista and with the golden rod as neither of these seem to give such a good colour after drying. I don't think that weld does either but it is such a strong dye I don't think we realise how much is lost. Sometime ago Kevin from the Online Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers generously sent me his method for making an extract from weld so I think I might try this. Then I found myself thinking maybe I would freeze some golden rod as our freezer is seriously underused. I wonder whether anyone has tried this I know Bettina http://woollybits.blogspot.com/ freezes dyers chamomile and India in EcoColour says she freezes a lot so I might try that.
Leena of http://riihivilla.blogspot.com/ I can't seem to be able to work out how to put a name into the blog which you click on and it goes to the site so Iam having to do it the long way round and give the url) has been dyeing with polygonum tinctoria and has used it to dye wool, rather than the silk I used and got a lovely soft blue with a turquoise cast. I think she kneaded the leaves more thoroughly as she seemed to get more dye than I did. She also pointed me to the turkey red website http://turkeyredjournal.com/ which had an article on dyeing with the japanese polygonum which said that the plant was ready when the leaves showed blue spots so maybe some of mine had been picked a little early.