Green dye from Black Turtle Bean

Following on from the previous post about black bean dye –

The next day, bicarbonate of soda was added to the Black Turtle Bean solar dye.  Colour changed to green and this colour transferred to the un-mordanted silk and cotton scraps.

This test needs to be redone; the bicarb was added to the original dye which was probably a bit tired – the beans were ‘going off’ at the time.

 

Black-turtle-bean-green-1

 

 

I also added to the solar dye pot some rolled-up paper, but the green disappeared into a brown-green when applied to paper.   Something in the paper which is photocopy paper reacting with this dye.  Where the pools of dye were deeper the green colour is just apparent.  This paper is stuck onto the test page and covered the swatches in the above image, hence the change of page direction!

Green-turtle-bean-on-paper

 

 

 

Red Freesia Solar Dye

Freesia red

In November, when I was clearing the dead spring bulb foliage, I kept a few dried flowers from some of the freesias we had grown this year.  The thought crossed my mind – I wonder if they will provide colour as the dried flowers were still orange-yellow.  As you can see the freesia flower was a deeply coloured red.  Below is a photo of the solar dye in progress.  The colour appeared almost immediately.  You can see that the stalk was still green, just the petals were dry and papery.  Inserted in the jar was a piece of unmordanted folded woollen fabric.

freesia-solar-dye

The colour  on the woollen fabric was rather dull, and seemed to attract a brown coloration on the fold.  I noticed this also occurring at the edges of the colour when applied to paper.

red-freesia-wool

Red-freesia-on-paper

Dyes on Paper

As the main purpose for starting solar dyeing with plants was to find more organic colours that I could use on paper, I record here some of my recent paper experiments.  This first one is on kozo (mulberry)  paper, and coloured by a pomegranite skin solar dye.  I squashed the folded paper into the jar, and really like the way the scrunched and twisted paper keeps its shape when dry.  I am not sure where the dark marks came from.

Kozo-pomegranite

I have also experimented with Knotweed – Persicaria.   Knotweed grows in my veggie patch.  There are two varieties – one smaller than the other.  The smallest one, P. maculosa, has been used here.  It seems simpler just to scan my test book pages! – here they are:

Persicaria-paper-tests

This is the page for Privet berries.   They are poisonous, by the way.  The colour has lasted well in the solar dye jars, and each brew is different.  I have not achieved a blue which you can get with adding alum and salt.  One source said the berries had to be ripe in order to do this.  I collected two lots, the second one of which is this test.  The berries were round and plump, seemed to be very ripe, but apparently, perhaps, not…

Privet-berries-paper-test

This next page is abut Viburnum tinus.  I solar dyed the drupes which are a beautiful steely blue.  It is interesting how the colours change according to type of paper or textile to which they are applied.

Viburnum-paper-tests

Autumn colours eco print

I have been trying to catch the autumn leaves before they all blow away!   This post was started a few weeks ago, and I have published others before getting round to finishing this one.

The leaves have been used for eco prints on paper and cloth. I have been using lots of different mordants to soak paper and cotton – alum, washing soda, copper, tannin, gelatine and acorns, both alone and in different combinations.

Here is a collage of the the result on various pieces of cotton fabric, pre soaked for a few days in tannin, alum and washing soda and iron water.  I added iron filings when I put the packages together – was a bit heavy handed – but which produced a beautiful result where they touched Cotinus coggygria leaves.  Leaves used were acer, cotinus, oak, acacia both fresh and frozen, and iris and rose petals.  The fabrics were folded or rolled and weighted down with ceramic tiles.

P1190719

A wood block depicting a pin oak leaf was printed on to Pescia cotton 300 gsm printmaking paper which was later soaked with the cotton fabric. I rolled this paper and some of the fabric in layers around a wood core, using Phormium tenax or harakeke roots in the final layer of cotton. The same leaves were used as in the cotton bundles above, except with the addition of iron filings, vinegar and some Hypericum solar dye bath to which had been added salt and vinegar for a wool and thread dye experiment. My usual over-enthusiasm…

I managed to cram all of this into the steamer – there is a new, larger setup now.

The Pescia paper print, overprinted with cotinus and iron filings at the top and various other leaves below, follows.

Pinoak-print

The reverse of this Pescia paper roll – showing an iris petal and rose petals still attached.

Pinoak-reverse

The winter flowering iris plant that grows in the garden.

Iris

Here the cotton has picked up the green of the iris petal.
Pinoakfabric1

I was delighted with the result on this pre-used cotton poplin type fabric.  A mixture of defined and watery images.  The bias binding has taken up the colour extremely well.  It is an unused, old roll and quite stiff, so I wonder if it is starched.

Pinoakfabric2

Here is another view.  The rusty red came from a pink rose petal.

Pinoakfabric3

Another view of the blue-black colour created by the iron filings.

Cotton-with-iron

Cotinus Dye Journey

Dye Pre history:

29 January 2013

Solar dye created with Cotinus coggygria and a small iron nail.

Cotonus-jar

Added pink silk and white cotton bundles containing honesty seed pods, aquilegia seeds and lupin seed pods.  Cotton fabric on top held under water with a cotinus twig.

2 February 2013

Bundles removed, inspected, and the silk returned as very little dye taken up in the centre of the bundle.  To brighten the colour I added some hypericum and hydrangea sola dye to the cotinus/iron brew.  The opened cotton bundle is below:

Cotinus-solar-cotton-bundle

ecoprint--cotton-continus

This is what happened to the silk bundle.

Cotinus-on-pink-silk-1

The ‘cotinus’ dye bath was not abandoned at this point but I put it in a larger jar to accommodate a linen bundle.

28 February 2013

Linen added.

Linen-cotinus-sequoia

Sequoiadendron giganteum cones, dark red prunus leaves and sequoia bark in a scarf length of white linen (mordanted previously in alum) and bound with linen and cotton thread, was next placed in the Cotinus leaf solar dye, but this left little colour, even after the linen and dye bath were simmered for one hour.  Even though the colour of the dye was dark perhaps I had exhausted the dye content.  I think it was worth the effort, the gentle colours – blue grey, pink and palest brown.

Cotinusdye-sequoiabundle

Steam and Solar Dyes – New Zealand Plants

In this post I collect together the New Zealand plants I have recently used in steam and solar dyeing.

Hebe species.  Steamed bundles

Hebe-plant

Hebe flowers and leaves were laid out on opposite sides of two silk bundles, with hebe twigs for the core. After steaming the leaves produced yellow and the flowers a mix of blue and a grey-pink-brown as is shown in the smaller bundle below.  Although as the silk used was already dyed a pale ‘salmon pink’, this background colour does not look very pink in the photograph…

Hebe small silk

Good colours, but not much definition of leaf or flower shape, and I still had the heat too high causing damage to the silk as you can see at the top the image above.  The photograph below shows part of the larger piece of dyed white silk.

Hebe-large-silk

Beech Leaves – Nothofagus species.  Solar dye

Nothofagus

I placed the leaves in water in a large jar.  No colour emerged, so  I decided to simmer the leaves, but unfortunately damaged them by letting the water in the pot dry out…

In 1849, when the British settlement of Canterbury started in earnest, the area named Oxford  by the early surveyors was covered by a large forest – Harewood Forest, which has been described as ‘the most magnificent stand of virgin bush in Canterbury and unique because of its variety.  It originally covered 56,000 acres [22,662.40  ha] and was the magnet which attracted the sawmilling community from which the present town grew’  (Oliver A Gillespie, Oxford, the first hundred years).  The forest  was logged for timber for the growing settlement around Christchurch and was nearly destroyed in 1898 by a fire which swept through the area, fanned by the strong winds that occur in Canterbury.  The last sawmill closed in 1912.

I will repeat the solar dye at some point, as I am lucky enough to have these trees growing in the garden.  There are still clumps of the forest remaining close by – and we find seeds from these oases arrive via the birds and grow well in the undisturbed parts of the garden.

Kapuka – Griselinia littoralis.  Solar dye

Griselinea

This tree is found in lowland and subalpine forest throughout New Zealand.  Griselinea has small flowers, which are green in the female and yellow in the male plants, and the berries are black when ripe.  For my test I used the green leaves which I cut up, and tied a knot in the alum pre-mordanted silk.  The berries are now on the trees, and ripen from March to June.

Griseliniesilksample

Wharariki, New Zealand Mountain or Coastal Flax Plant – Phormium cookianum.  

Steamed bundle and solar dye.

I think the flax plants in my garden are cultivars of P. cookianum.  The leaves have distinct colours – either green, yellow, pink and orange, or in combination, each plant being different.  The flowers are small and, characteristically for this plant, the seed pods hang downwards and are more or less twisted.  Our flax plants have not flowered yet this year so I wonder if they flower every year.  (See more details here :  <http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/plants-animals-fungi/plants/ethnobotany/weaving-plants/information-sheets/harakeke-and-wharariki> )

This piece of silk started life as a steamed bundle containing a fallen Magnolia bud, but very little colour came from this (here the silk is still wet).  Taking this silk I  rolled up a new bundle containing just yellow flax leaf pieces and put it on to steam with the Hebe bundles mentioned above.  The vein down the centre of the flax leaf left a good red mark on the silk.

P1170291

P-cookianum-silk

Makomako or Wineberry – Aristotelia serrata.  Steamed bundle and solar dye

 The plant is found throughout New Zealand in lowland and subalpine forest, especially in clearings.  The solar dye liquid has a sweet, wine-like smell.

Aristotelia-serrata

Incorporated into a steam bundle of mixed flowers and leaves, were some Flax, Wineberry and Griselinea leaves, and Hebe flowers.  The Wineberry leaves gave a good imprint.  This is seen in the two images below.  The purple-grey marks are from the leaves which are thin and translucent.  (The pink in the background of the second  image below is from hollyhock flowers.)

wineberrybundle

Wineberry

The berries, which are edible, are red when mature and black when ripe.  I picked black berries and solar dyed the cotton shown below.  The colour of the dye is very strong.  This entry in my workbook is shared with a eucalyptus solar dye.

Wineberry-solar

The Eucalyptus (I think it is blue dollar gum) shown above, leads nicely into my next post which I intend to be about my other solar dyes.

For information on the plants I referred to NZ Flowers and Plants in Colour by J. T. Salmon, edition published in 1986.  Some of the plant nomenclature has changed since then, but I have used the current plant names.  All plants come from the garden.