Tag: eucalyptus dye

05 Nov

Tasmanian Blues Robe Dress and Nigella Blues Smock

FEATURES:  Collar is of hand dyed silk, from natural Tasmanian eucalyptus tree bark dye  then painted over.  Silk sample designs see here. [add link]

APPLIQUE DECORATION:  Nigella Seed pod designs from my drawings of dried seed pods in my vegetable garden:  see seed photos on photography site resonant-visions Beige lace has a similarity to the thin casings of the pods as they break down.

AVAILABLE:  Direct from maker £160.00

BLUE Patchworks

Abstract with text print blue/white cotton-viscose.

Feather print navy-white cotton.

Navy blue lace lined on gold.

Stylised flowers blue-gold-navy cotton print.

Gold embroidered cotton.

PLUS :  Gold plant dyed silk. Leopard print blue-black-grey. Chinese Bird of Paradise with gold texture cotton.

Applique - Seed Pods of Nigella 'Love in a Mist'

Robe Dress has applique lace pod dyed in eucalyptus dye bath after the collar piece. Colour took well, which is a guide to fabric content being cotton or silk. Dark centres to seed pod designs are cut from eucalyptus dyed silk (iron modified).  Light centre to pod is from bundle steam died silk with seeds and petals.  Nigella blues has variable on same pod idea.  A motif is a good means to join over a seam (smock left top). Also provides contrast to break up a solid dark or light area.


When there are enough patches prepared, another garment can be made.  Size and shape was dictated by the blouse used as an underlining, the colours of which were a perfect match, being cream brown and pale blue.  Short sleeves made in dark blue lace.  Coconut buttons with bound buttonholes.  Applique patches again created with eucalyptus dyed lace and bundle dyed silk.  Back hem is drooped lower.

AVAILABLE :  £85.00 - Direct from maker

Nigella Blues Smock – Bound buttonhole sewing – Click to enlarge


22 May

Eucalyptus bark dyed silk

Amelia Hoskins / Dyes, Plant Dye / / 0 Comments

The bark falls off the trees ready for easy collection.  I collected this bark from 2 trees; Eucalyptus Vminalis, Manna Gum, and Eucalyptus Archeri, Alpine Cider Gum (Tasmania), from Hillier Arboretum, Hampshire, UK.  Bark unfurls, dried, off the trees' trunks.

Dye Bath Preparation

Break up bark and leave to soak for a day or overnight.  I added 3 leaves to ensure a colour result (as dye instruction books use leaves for strong result).  I heated to boil, then simmered for 1hr to 1hr 30mins.  Remove bark and put silk in pot.  (I pre-mordanted the silk by soaking in water with alum in a bowl overnight; although not necessary with Eucalyptus).  It wasn't necessary to reboil and simmer the silk in the pan as it took up the dye well immediately, and quickly grew darker.  (This quick take up would be good for fine woollen cloth dying, where boiling can damage fabric).

After about an hour of soaking, frequently moving around, I heated it for about 10 mins and again left it to cool soaking.Silk absorbs bark dye very well, and quickly. I left it in cold dye bath for 1 hr  then simmered the pot for 10 mins.Lace fabric on fist placing in dye bath (content unknown; likely cotton/polyester mix.)It rapidly takes up the dye, although it was not pre-mordanted, like the silk was.

Final colour is a rich gold: silk looks very bright in sunlight; a deeper old gold tone indoors. Could be deeper if soaked longer

Seed designs steamed into dyed silk.  Darker left silk was soaked in rusty nails to make more brownish.

Practice piece painting over eucalyptus dyed silk.  Discharge (bleaching paste) did not work through eucalyptus dye - interesting!  Seed heads to be repainted darker, for contrast.  Outlines (blue lines) are drawn with acid dye mixed with gutta resist paste, using applicator bottle with nozzle.   Background texture in maroon was created with collograph printing:  Seeds flattened and glued to cardboard, then used as a print stamp underneath silk, pressed from upper surface.  (Details to be added)

Adding iron

All dyebaths can give a darker secondary colour by addition of rusty nail water. (iron). I usually find a mixed fibre lace or cotton lace to soak up this remaining dye.

A jar of large nails can be topped up with water to give a regular supply of rust colour.

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How the dyed silk was used in two garments: As contrasting colour for collar, patches, and applique together with blue-white theme

Eucalyptus dyed silk with coordinating fabrics to make up

Lace dyed with same dyebath. Mixed fibres produces lighter gold.

Eucalyptus dyed lace and silk used in applique of Nigella Sativa seed pod.

  • Kimono dress 'TASMANIAN BLUES' - Eucalyptus dyed silk used for collar and appliques and in lower patches. Upper left seed pod applique is darker lace dyed with iron addition.
  • Loose frock top 'NIGELLA BLUES' with silk and lace applique top left shoulder.  See them HERE

Available in UK: Contact amelia-jane-hoskins@protonmail.com for details, as is not yet in online shop

Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.