Tag: alder

16 Sep

Alder Tree Cone Dye

Alder cones in Exeter

Cones form on lower branches of the alder tree, first greenish, changing through to brown by late summer. Usually reachable just above head height.  Often seen laying on grass around the base of the tree, clumped on sprigs.

They have good keeping qualities when box full collected.

Produces a pale earthy beige; very useful for painting on to.

Alder Cone dye result on Habotai silk

22 May

Flora’s Plant dye foraging workshop

Foraging by a river for plants and trees that we can use in dye baths, with and without mordants (which make colours stronger); easily dye cotton, linen and silk.

Boiling and simmering leaves, twigs, and other dry stored dye plants after measuring out appropriate weight per fabric weight.  Flora used same weight as fabric.

Ahimsa silk with Oak Gall dye, plus cotton lace.

Ahimsa silk with Madder 'fold and crunch'.

My own samples from the workshop:  Dye resist method: Fold diagonally and clamp.

Oak gall gives a good deep old gold, for antiqued applications.  The piece of cotton lace also dyes very well with oak galls.  RIGHT:  Scarlet result on Ahimsa silk; previously soaked in soya milk, folded and clamped in triangles along folded strips, to create 'resist' of penetration of madder dye. Smaller Habotai silk scrunched and rubber band tied, to create abstract, cosmic or marbled effect.  This could be interesting over-dying again and again, to create a multi layered marbled effect.

Cream, bright yellow and ocre achieved with Alder plant matter, leaves and twigs.  Centre brighter yellow linen piece was soaked in soya milk, as a pre process mordant.  Its a little too bright for my taste so I would use without mordant.  The pale cream lace is also with nettle dye bath, in reality a very subtle dark cream, with hint of yellow-green.  Subsequent home dying with alder producex a light beige.

Madder pink stripes achieved by folding fabric and using rubber bands to keep tight, preventing dye penetrating fabric. Cotton lace rolled and 2 rubber bands used to achieve resist un-dyed stripes.

Flora's workshops can be booked at her website:

Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.