Natural Dye Group
This Group meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month. The Group works with natural dyes and researches their preparation and use in the dying of cotton, silk and other natural fibres. The dyes are extracted from the leaves, flowers, fruit, stems and roots of plants. Some of the dyes used have been madder, logwood, camomile, eucalyptus, thryptomeme, correa and indigo. The Group also uses the Shibori technique to pattern cloth. A reference collection has been established and is stored in the von Mueller Resource Centre. Read more about plants used...
In June the Natural Dye Group worked with home grown Weld and the results were curious. Not the brilliant yellow that Weld is known for. We discussed the role of climate, soil, water, time of picking and the influence these have on potential colours. Also, clarity of mordant processing may have had an impact. Testament to the wonders of working with the same plants across years, and nature’s habits.
July saw us getting some lovely blues with Saxon Blue. This comes from the Indigo vat mixed with diluted hydrochloride acid. We noted that whilst materials being dyed in Indigo do not need to be mordanted, the use of a mordant with Saxon Blue was found to lead to stronger colour and fastness of colour. Marigolds, with their gentle yellow were also used; as a first dye and then the Saxon Blue gave a nice green.
These skeins have been added to the Shop supply.
In August we plan to rework some Marigolds and over dye the yellow with a few different colours to see what emerges.
Meetings/Demonstrations: 4 December 2019, 5 February, 4 March 2020