More Beautiful Yellows
Here are the latest results from my dye jars* –
Jenny Dean mentions hawthorn in her book Wild Color. She recommends using the flowers or berries, and says the leaves and twigs will dull the color, but I used leaves and twigs, and got a gorgeous marigold yellow. The species I used was parsley hawthorn, Crataegus marshallii. This sample sat in the solar jar for 48 hours.
Up until this time, I had been trying only the plants in Wild Color, but I wanted to see if some of our other plants would render color.
Waterleaf (Hydrolea) is a plant that grows all around the edges of the pond. It has lovely little blue flowers, but it also has tiny but vicious thorns. It did wonders in the dye jar, and gave a clear yellow-green.
Dog fennel ( I believe it is Eupatorium capillifolium, but I am not absolutely sure of this one) is a tall feathery plant – it reminds me of Queen Anne’s lace without the flowers. It is soft and thornless, which is a plus when handling it for dyeing. It gave a pure yellow.
Now that I know what these plants can do, I am going to test them further with dye modifiers, wash and light tests.
* My method for sampling for dye – I lightly pack a half-gallon glass jar full of my plant material, pour very hot or even boiling water over it, enough to almost cover, plunk in a 10 gram skein of alum-mordanted wool, and wait 24 hours or so. I like to use canning jars because they are made to withstand some temperature change. My jars are outside in Texas, so they are already pretty warm when I pour in the hot water, but I am still very careful to avoid shattered jars.
Yes they all are! Continue to Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar
It looks like you are having alot of fun experimenting with plants. You’ve inspired me!
Oh, good! It is a fun way to accomplish something textile-related at the same time as getting all those “shoulds” done.
I have only a bit of time for blogging tonight, so I quickly scaled through your posts I’ve missed. I’m always so impressed with how creative you are! The dyes are wonderful. These yellows are beautiful!
I saw that the update for Sunshine Hunter was available, so I figured you had been busy with that! But I have missed your blog and hope there’s a new post in my inbox!
The yarns came out beautiful! Is the color pretty consistent throughout the skein, or is there variation in tones of yellows?
I do have a few little blips of paler yellow in the ones I dyed with waterleaf, and I haven’t been able to determine why. I mordanted big skeins with alum and then rewound the yarn into little skeins, so it wouldn’t be a matter of uneven mordanting. It seems to matter where the yarn touches the plant material as soon as I dip it in – if I rearrange the yarn and try to get the pale spots closer to the plant, they don’t go away. I personally like a little variation so it doesn’t bother me, but it would be something to take into account if you wanted very consistent results.
Also, lately I am not getting good color from the same plants as quickly – just tan after 48 hours – but we haven’t had rain for about 3 weeks, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with my results. I did get immediate color when I added about a tablespoon of clear ammonia to the dye jar, and it is a more bronzy yellow. If you are interested in natural dyeing, you will love the Colour Cottage blog!
Thanks for the lengthy reply! All is very interesting! I also like variation. I look forward to hearing more about your work! 🙂
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