A study of Montbretia
My natural dyeing experiments continue with orange montbretia flowers - my new best friend!
It's a plant that grows prolifically here in the South West and elsewhere too, I suspect. I have loads of it in the garden, in fact I have a job to control it and I pull it all up at the root every year ... but back it comes!
Now that I know what a gorgeous dye I can get I am loving this plant!
You don't even need to pick all that many flower heads to get a good colour. This is all you need in a small saucepan
I added just enough water to cover the flower heads and simmered for only 5 to 10 minutes
The dye comes quickly. It looks orange in the pan because of the flowers, but the dye is actually a very nice yellow
In the jar I've got various pieces of fabrics and threads, natural fibres and synthetics too. All the fabrics are unmordanted because I'm only interested in the natural process at the moment and learning about which plants, leaves, berries etc. give good colours
Fabrics after one day soaking in dye
The first batch of fabrics were left soaking for only one day. They achieved a very pale, but pretty, faded vintage looking yellow, which I like!
I tried another batch which I left soaking for 4 to 5 days
A much richer yellow was achieved
Silk and silk velvet
My bezzy mate - the montbretia - is a fascinating plant. I love the shapes of the flowers on the stem. After "cooking" the montbretia, I pressed a stem of it between a sheet of paper while it was wet and still had colour to give and these are the results
The print at the top looks like a water colour painting
Brown Onion Skins
A yellow dye can be achieved from boiling brown onion skins. Same method as before, I used the skins of two onions, covered with water, simmered for 10 to 15 minutes, then poured the yellow dye into a jar and soaked fabrics and threads in it for 2 to 3 days
These were the lovely yellows I got
Remember the rust like patterns on the fabric I dyed with St. John's Wort? I used some of the fabric to stitch a couple of hearts
work in progress
I stitched seed head designs on them
One with silk that I painted yellow with free motion machine stitching in gold thread and the other one is machine stitched with copper thread and beads
Well, that's all for now. More soon!
Hope you have a lovely weekend despite the weather - it's still raining on and off in St. Ives :o)