Tag: comfrey

22 Mar

Comfrey Soy Waxed Roses

Comfrey Over-died - Wax Resist Roses on Habotai silk

Experimental use of soy wax with stencils of rose shapes, [link to wax stencils] in cold comfrey dye bath.  Wax cracks in the cool liquid which can be explored. (see floating wax fragments) I emphasised crackled result by gripping rose shapes with centre point at top of finger hold, to ensure there was a crackled pattern bursting from the centre.   This technique has good potential for an overall soy wax design or florals painted on silk before immersing in a dye bath.

Petal Bundle Dye Preparation

Comfrey dyed rose wax stencilled Habotai silk with Khafir Lilly petals, common pink Mallow and dried wild thyme purple seed heads.  Several silk pieces can be prepared and added to the same bundle dye.  I also added an Ahimsa silk piece from a previous weak woad dye.

Silk pieces are sprayed with household vinegar and carefully folded and wrapped into a bundle, rolled, and tied tightly with string.  Not every petal produces strong colour in final outcome, which depends on pressure applied within bundle. A solid tight string casing may be better.

LEFT:  Result on Ahimsa silk, purple blurred petal impressions, possibly due to piece being in centre of bundle, and/or previous woad dye on that piece.  RIGHT:  Result on Habotai silk, scanty light red petal impressions.  (impressions were less than imagined, probably due to loose string tied bundle.)  A large spread of many petals may be needed for more final impressions.

11 Nov

Silk dyed with Comfrey leaves

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Comfrey Dye Bath Preparation
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Shibori stitching for resist of dye penetration.

Double rows gathered - lines, wavy lines, circles.  Can be prepared while leaves simmering

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Dye Bath Process

  • Soak comfrey leaves for 24 hrs - simmer for an hour, watching water level.
  • During simmering there is time to do some shibori on the silk: double stitched rows, pulled, gathered tight, as rings, or lines. [link]
  • Remove from pan, squeezing excess dye liquid from leaves, or press through colander.
  • Soak pre-wetted silk in hand hot (never boiling hot). Stir for first 5 mins.
  • When colour did not darken anymore, after a few hours, I lifted the silk out, added some rust water (or ferrous sulphate) to dye bath as a modifier, then lowered half the silk piece in, to achieve a partly dyed piece.
  • The difference in tone when dry was much less than when wet, so its best to always allow dye to go darker than wanted, as it will always rinse out lighter.
Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.