Hawthorn Berries Three Rivers Dyed Silk
Hawthorn Berries 1 - River Taw
Berries from Tarka Trail foraging trip along River Taw found by ditch and field growing through hazelnut and willow trees with briars and nettles.
Hawthorn (1) - Dye Bath Process
- Soak berries for 2-3 days.
- Boil then simmer for 1-2 hours. Add water and re-simmer if evaporates.
- Mash berries, remove pulp from dye pan. Cool to hand hot.
- Soak silk in dye bath pot overnight or for two days.
- The longer soaked, the darker and stronger the colour.
Steeping in dye bath
Silk absorbs dye colour immediately, but some hours of soaking will deepen the tone. Move silk occasionally to ensure all parts even
1st silk can be left in a bowl to dye stronger overnight, while keeping back some dye liquid to soak a 2nd piece, which will have a paler result.
Hawthorn Berries 2 - River Otter - Dye Process
Soak berries and simmer as Hawthorn (1). Two silk samples were added to dye liquid when cooled and soaked in a wide copper pot for a day and a night. One was cream. The other was dull pale grey (failed woad dyed piece) which resulted in a browner result. (Colour mixing: grey + hawthorn = brown)
Comparisons - Rivers Taw - River Otter berries
Taw berries result is golden. Otter berries result is dull fawn. Unknown whether the different river soils affected the dye colour, or if the copper pot had an effect, which is likely.
Hawthorn Berries 3 - River Exe - Dye Process
Hawthorn Berries River Exe Sessions1,2,3,4 give 4 colour variations
Silk 1 - Lime green. Silk 2 - Medium mauve. Silk 3 - Silver. Silk 4 - Pale peach
Fascinating variations obtained by use of mordants, or washing out methods, or how fresh or old/exhausted the dye bath becomes.
Exe Berries - Ahimsa Silk 1. Mauve turns Green
Large long piece of silk soaked a few hours in pre-mordanting Alum beforehand.
Good Mauve result. Washed out in tap water, with added soap. Turned GREY, then gradually GREEN! (Far left)
Was it the tap water? Was it the soap?
Exe Berries - Ahimsa Silk 2.
Two dress top shapes. NO premordant alum.
Steeped 24hrs in remainder dye bath pink sludgy liquid.
Washed out in tap water - stayed a medium MAUVE. (presume due to no alum).
Exe Berries - Ahimsa Silk 3.
One long silk piece with a hem.
Placed in previous dye bath (1. and 2.)
Turned mauvish, but dried out SILVER! (Right)
Exe Berries - Ahimsa Silk 4.
Silk pre-mordanted with Alum and Cream of Tartar.
Cider vinegar from pre-soaked apple peels added to dye bath.
Placed liquid and fabric in copper pot.
Result overnight - pale peach.