Monday, December 30, 2013

Using dried hollyhock petals for natural dyeing

Today I took the silk out of it's plastic bag.  The dye bath looked much darker and so did the silk. I rinsed it out with water, to get rid of the bits of petal.
Looking much darker.
Then I took it inside to have a proper rinse.
So far, so good.

After it had dried, it didn't smell quite right. I decided to do a final rinse with a little bit of vinegar - well, was that a mistake or not?  I am not sure - but a lot of pink dye came out of the fabric, making it less purple and more like the other blue-grey fabric. I don't know why the vinegar did that.  I suppose it is good to have done it myself and not given it to someone who would be disappointed to have the colour change in that way.

I took a close-up photo of it while it was drying the first time, there were little bits that looked yellowish. I think they might have been from the part of the flowers where the petals are held together.  I didn't mean to have them in there but a few managed to be included. 
This photo came out a lot pinker than it was in actuality.

This is the final piece, dried and ready for me to use - for something, one day.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you have been busy Mary! Lovely colors and all from frozen flowers. Pat

Mary said...

Thanks Pat, it doesn't actually feel very busy, the dyeing is happening outside all by itself. I have collected the flowers over several months, so that doesn't take long, just a few minutes each day. The preparation of the silk and the soaking of the flowers took an hour or so and the rinsing takes half and hour, or thereabouts. The drying happens in no time in this lovely summer weather. So it sounds busy but only takes a little bit out of each day.
I am still mystified about why the red ran out of the fabric when I put the vinegar out - but it is still a lovely purplish, blueish grey.
Happy New Year to you too!