Thursday, March 22, 2012

Growing Your Own Dyes

I'm not a very serious dyer but a member of the household is a keen gardener. So when she was thinking about what plants to buy to grow I facetiously (did you know this word has all the vowels in order and even includes y??) suggested buying something I could use to dye with.
Saffron was one of the plants on offer from Green Harvest. Apparently it grows well here in Victoria.  The order arrived today and out we went, looking for a good place to plant it.
Don't be holding your breath waiting for me to report on this - it apparently takes a lot of flowers to get enough saffron for dyeing, or cooking.  But it is fun to think of what we can have growing that I might use for dyeing.  And saffron doesn't just give you a colour that is green or brown or a pale yellow. I did once get some lovely yellow fabric using oxalis. I had picked it and frozen it.  I think I read about it in India Flint's book, Eco Colour.

Here is an interesting link about dyeing with saffron.

We have silver beet growing too and when I wash it before cooking, the water turns a pale green.  I must look it up to see if it is good for dyeing - but that seems a waste when it is good for eating.
As I said, I am not that serious about dying my own fabric.

There is another thing that might slow down my dyeing - I do it in the greenhouse.  I moved in there during the drought when it was pointless to be trying to propagate plants.  Now that the drought is over (we hope), there is a growing need for the glasshouse to return to its original purpose.  I think I can retain a corner for my dyeing, I'll have to tidy up and organise my things for the odd occasion when I will be doing some more dyeing.  I only seem to do it when I have a project in mind and there is nothing occurring to me at present.


parlance said...

Those saffron bulbs went into the ground today, ta dah!

Glennis said...

Hi MAry
I planted some saffron bulbs 2 years ago and had my first 2 flowers while I was away. Hope that your bulbs are quicker than mine.ntrcques eyoutu

Glennis said...

Hi Mary
I worked out what the strange letters are. They are the code you are asked to type in to have a comment passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary said...

Hi Glennis, I find those letters very annoying on occasion. They can be very difficult to read sometimes.