Archive for ‘Mulberrys’

August 22, 2011

Gorgeous colours from nature

Dyeing is still in progress, the mulberries are still falling so I’m still picking them up. Had good results with weld, golden rod and buddleia, some lovely yellows and golds and all the berries are giving me pinks, purples and lavender shades. Most surprising is what happens if you add a little copper sulphate crystals to the pan with the plant liquor. Also found that stronger colours occur when sea salt is added to the dye pot liquor. More buddleia, golden rod, mulberries to come.
dyes from nature
dyes from nature

August 6, 2011

Time for dyeing-the natural way

With summer in full swing now is the time to gather dyestuffs from round and about. Next doors mulberrys are dropping to the ground and getting soggy in this rain so I have nip round there during a dry spell to pick them up. The first batch produced a lovely pinky mauve on silk and alpaca. Yesterday at Bentley Wildfowl I was allowed to pick some Golden Rod which has given me some lovely citrusy yellow on Falkland Island tops. A pound or so of elderberries has turned 100gms of Falkland Island tops a lovely mauve and the exhaust from the Golden Rod and elderberries is still in the pot with another 100gm of F.I.tops.
My earlier dye session this week turned out very blue, not with natural dyes I hasten to add but some vintage ICI dyes. I mixed some blue with red hoping to achieve purple but it all came out blue! It is on the lavender side of blue and I have a lot of blue wool, yarn and tops.
from one dye pot
wool and tencel

September 21, 2010

Birling Gap and mulberry results

Another beautiful day found us at Birling Gap in East Sussex to collect more sea water for dyeing with. Sue’s previous experiments proved that by using sea water instead of tap water altered the colour quite noticiably. As the tide was on it’s way out, the  sand was revealed making it really safe for the boys to paddle about in the water.Not so much rock pooling and no sign of wildlife apart from the limpets & sea weed but a grand day out nevertheless.

My little experiment with next door’s mulberrys proved very successful, I didn’t have very many berries & after cooking & straining, I put the liquor in a jam jar with a handful of silk & left it to sit for about 3 weeks. This is what came out-

mulberry dyed silk

It is such an amazing pink, the little bit of Shetland fleece I put in another jar was disappointing although still pink.

August 30, 2010

Mulberry tree next door

To my surprise & delight there lives a beautiful mulberry tree right next door to me. Unfortunately I have discovered this rather late in the season and after a few weeks of horrid weather, but I managed to pick a few over ripe berries & have boiled them up to extract some colour. Today I will add some silk tops (only fitting I think since silk worms eat the leaves of the mulberry to make the silk) Had also thought I may just cultivate some worms of my own on the leaves to see what happens.  Since the tree is in my neighbours garden I have added his web site to my links but if you are reading this now click here to take you to his site, he even wrote a special poem for the Noughtists.

July 27, 2010

Mulberry tree in Grange gardens

Was at Grange Gardens in Lewes yesterday and the mulberry tree is groaning with delicious berries. Since it was fenced off a few years ago it has flourished, bad news for mulberry lovers but if you ask the gardeners nicely you can climb over the fence & pick the yummy berries. No tree climbing but lots of low branches! Beware of the juice, it’s liable to stain clothing! The gardens looked quite beautiful and the magnolia tree by the cafe is blooming too!