Monday, February 25, 2013

Natural dyeing with hollyhocks that were not frozen

As I was getting ready to do more dyeing using the frozen flowers, I accidentally crumbled some of the dried flower that I had just picked up from the ground onto one of my pieces of silk.  The silk was damp as it had been soaking in an alum solution and the colour just rushed out from the crumbled bits. It was amazing to see.
Of course I couldn't resist that - I had to see if it would stay in the fabric.  So I laid out some of the silk and crumbled the dried flowers and some of the fresh petals that had fallen off (I'm still not picking them off the plant, there is no need, there are so many flowers) along the length of the silk and rolled it up.

Then I got all confused, as I have already said (I'm blaming the hot weather), and put the fabric in a jar with the leftover alum solution.  I think I had intended to just let it lie and dry out in a plastic bag, as I did with onion skins and vinegar recently.

However, I didn't.  So it has been in the jar, in the glasshouse, for three days.  The water changed colour over that time, giving me hope that something good would be happening.

Today I took it out and rinsed it.  I was very excited to see the different colours.  The dried petals have given quite a darker colour and there are parts that have taken on the redder fresh petals.  The dye has stayed, not much came out in the rinse at all.

I was interested to see that some of the petals had become quite transparent, the colour had leached out.

I did this at the same time as the frozen flowers that went mouldy. There was no mould with this lot, perhaps because it was in an airtight jar or perhaps it had something to do with the alum solution. I am not a scientist so don't know. I am just happy that there was no staining that I didn't want!

1 comment:

parlance said...

The hollyhocks live on in beauty even after they die in the garden. Win, win.