Friday, November 26, 2010

my dyeing is getting better and l have more colours now!!

I was on a hunt for fungi and leaves for more experiments today......look what l found! It was under a tree on the main walk up to Putney East Tube station, all the ones on The Common have died or have turn black. At least next year l have an idea what will create what colour. Love all this research!

I read the other day that fungi and mushrooms should be cut up, put in a glass jar and have boiling water pored over them. You then leave them from 1 hour to 24 hours and then you will see what colour, if any they will give off. As soon as the water touched the water turned yellow/orange...amazing. They loose their colour if you boil them.
Off to the woods l go eith my ever faithful husband ( bless himx)...l was having so much fun and here are the images, taken by Tony, to prove it!

I was VERY well wrapped up as it was very, very cold!
I found so many but these were just a few of them. I tell you what, individual fungus don't usually weigh much but a lot of them in a normal sized plastic shopping bag weigh a ton!!!!
This next image is of Brackets that were on a fallen Silver Birch tree. They were difficult to cut through or break into pieces because they were so dense.
Yet another kind of fungii.
More fungi cut up and starting to show it's colour.
This fungi has a pinkish tinge to it, l wonder if there will be any pink in the final colour? More wonderful finds follow.

I only found one of these orange fungus, pity but l will know what to look for next year. I was very lucky to find it at all as it was buried deep in a pile of leaves at the base of the tree, where l was looking for interesting coloured leaves for wrapping.

Tony says now he has physical proof l have turned into the witch and wise woman he always tells everyone l am.....see the startr of my "dye" collection and experiments!
Aren' the colours just wonderful....and this is only the start!
Here you can also see my bundles that have been steamed and are waiting( I am trying to be patient!!Honest!!!) to be opened and a few cold-wrapped bundles also waiting their turn to show me their wondeful colour and pattern secrets.  So exciting!
LOVE the colour that is coming from this specium.
Next is an image of bottle tops rusting in salt water!

The liquid in the orange bowl is still an on going experiment with berries. The white bowl has red oinion skins in and l soaked the cotton in it for 4 days.
Here are 3 results of experiments l have just completed. Yellow= turmaric powder. Red = the onion skins you see soaking in the last image. Black = is cotton wrapped round a rusted patterened piece of metal and left in water for 4 days. Need more work but am pleased so far.
The next few images are of wrapped bundles which have been steamed and l have just opened after a few weeks. I am so pleased with these, can't wait to see what the others l have done and are doing, produce. Very addictive this Eco Dyeing..Thanks India!x
First image is on the shiny side of a good quality silk.
Love this one. On silk

This is one is white onion skins of silk.
This is red Maple leaves on silk.
Red leaves, onion skins, rerd flowers on matt side of shiny thick silk.

Dry, brown and yellow leaves, sprayed with vinegar on shiny raw silk.
Silk wrapped round rusted metal and steamed.
Not sure where this piece of yellow came from?

More samples!

This one is cotton cold-wrapped round rust, sprayed with vinegar and left for 6 weeks! It was worth the agonising wait!

All the browns together....
Added a splash of orange...
and we have the start of my first Eco quilt!!!!


  1. thank you for suggesting I pay you a visit...lots of wonderful stuff to see.

    but a word of caution: rule no 1 when dealing with plants and dyeing is that it is vital to identify the plant before harvest or use, firstly to know whether it is protected or not and secondly to know whether or not it is poisonous.

    the first of your images shows an Ammonita muscaria, commonly known as "fly agaric". It is poisonous, ingestion can cause death and it certainly has hallucenogenic effects when consumed. keep well away from children as their small bodies will react more violently than those of adults.

    happy dyeing, but take care
    best wishes

  2. Thank you for replying to me. I am very aware of what l am allowed to pick and not to pick. (didn't mean for that to sound rude!) We have notices in some places that ask you NOT to pick as they are either protected or need to be left to become more common in that place.
    I do know that the fly agaric is poisononous and was very careful but was curious what colour it would produce. (promise l will not be so silly next time!) I do not intend to pick it again promise. I have no children in the house but when dyeing l imagine l have , so l keep everything safe.
    Thank you for all your advice and l promise l keep notes and l do keep to all the safety rules concerning Eco Dying.
    Love your book and once again thanks for visiting.

  3. sorry me dear, didn't mean to sound bossy
    was just concerned for your wellbeing....

  4. You are not bossy but just making sure all is safe and well...l appreciate your concern and no way was l upset.xlynda

  5. Lynda, I can barely take in all the amazing colours you have achieved naturally! Never would have believed things like mushrooms and onions would give off such terrific colour. Just love your experiments looking forward to see lots more.
    Oh, you asked about our dog Jazz she is a mix of Nova Scotia Duck Toller & Sheltie.