Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Natural Dyes

I have learnt how to download pics from my camera! Actually...that's not quite right....I made Anthony learn and he hasn't yet shown me....but hey....same diff!!!

Let me walk you through some of our pics from July.....

These were the results of natural dyeing which we did up at Trudi Pollards studio. When we dye, we try to dye different threads and materials. It gives us a good record of how the dyes effect different substances. We will use different types of silks, threads, wool and of course felt.
A collection of the various threads, with the leaves that were used to dye alongside each. This helps in the recording process.
These threads have been dyed with chilli bush, a native Australian plant, which looks nothing like chilli, but has a similar taste. You can get anything from a pink through to purple with this plant. This is a lovely subdued taupe colour. Every batch is different.

The next two pictures are the wrong way around....they should be the undyed version and then the dyed version....but can figure that out. This was a dye pot at my house, using Eucalyptus Cineria....otherwise known as Silver Dollar. I just love the deep, rich colours I personal favourite.
The dye pot, before cooking. It's a good idea to photograph each stage for documentation.

The result of some other dye pots using the same plant. Each dye pot will always come out differently. It depends on the amount of water, the number of leaves, which tree the leaves come from etc.
Some of the results from steaming, instead of boiling using plant material. These are wet, so the true beauty of the colour isn't seen yet. This is us as we unwrapped them, straight from the steamer. They were burning our hands!
These two were a piece of habutai silk and a wool/silk blend piece of fabric. The plant material was placed in between the layers, so we get the same pattern on two different pieces of fabric.
One of my round vessels, which was steamed. This is the leaves as we are peeling them from the vessel. Again using my favourite plant.
Finally a picture of my two favourite ladies. Trudi Pollard on the left and Lorna Hindmarsh on the right. Lorna is such an inspiration. She has been naturally dyeing for much of her life. I will blog about her later. Lorna very kindly had Trudi and myself to her house and went through some of her work. We are planning to do more work with Lorna in the near future. The felt piece that the ladies are holding, is all dyed using natural dyes from the local Perth area.


  1. the quality of the water and its pH are also major factors in colour outcomes...

  2. that looks great! love it, beautiful felt vases..