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 photos on photography site resonant-visions [add link].  Beige lace has a similarity to the thin casings of the pods as they break down.

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.

Gold plant dyed silk.

PLUS – Leopard print blue-black-grey and  Chinese Bird of Paradise with gold texture cotton.

Applique Seed Pods 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.

Nigella Blues Smock – Bound buttonhole sewing – Click to enlarge

Tasmanian Blues Making Procedure

22 May

Eucalyptus bark dyed silk

Amelia Hoskins / Dyes, Plant Dye / / 0 Comments
Deep gold dye results on habotai silk and cotton lace
Eucalyptus bark peeling
Eucalyptus bark peeling

Eucalyptus bark peelings collected from  Hillier grounds.


Eucalyptus Dye Bath Preparation

  • Break up bark and leave to soak for a day or overnight, even several days may release more colour.  I added 3 leaves to ensure a colour result (as dye instruction books use leaves for strong result).

  • Heat to boil, then simmered for 1hr-1hr 30mins until a depth of colour absorbed.  (Its always a good idea to leave dye stuff to soak over night and reboil dye liquid again the next day if colour is not very strong, before adding fabric again).

  • Remove bark from pan and leave liquid to cool to just hand hot, before adding silk. (Silk can go rough if exposed to boiling temperature).

It wasn’t necessary to-heat the dye bath again to obtain more colour, as the silk took up the dye well immediately, and quickly grew darker.  After about an hour of soaking, frequently moving around, I removed silk, heated the dye bath again for about 10 mins and again left it to cool before soaking additional lace pieces.

  • Lace (content unknown; likely cotton/polyester mix) which appeared to rapidly take up the dye, although it was not pre-mordanted, as the silk was.
  • To make any gold duller, soak in a modified dye bath.  Use either rusty nail water, or powdered iron.
  • Top silk and lace were modified with iron water in final dye bath; compared to initial dye bath underneath.

Habotai Silk Dyed Samples

In sunlight the golden brightness is amazing. The one duller piece was modified after dyeing, in iron water soak, which turned duller.

Click images for full screen Gallery.

Dyed Silk and Coordinate fabrics
Collar showing two samples: Bright gold dyed and duller gold with iron modifier

Eucalyptus dyed gold silk, with silk painting, was used for collar and some patches of Kimono Dress Tasmanian Blues

Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.