Tag: iron modifier

30 Apr

Rosemary Simple and Iron

Amelia Hoskins / Plant Dye / / 0 Comments

Rosemary Dyed Silk (Ahimsa)

Mustard yellow, fairly strong after overnight soaking in dye bath.

Dye bath was boiled up with rosemary leaves and flowers, and few twigs.   Simmered for an hour, then left overnight before using.

Rosemary water after boiling up and leaving overnight.

Rosemary Dye Bath with Iron

After dying Ahimsa silk yellow, iron was added to dyebath. About a tablespoon of ferrous sulphate powder and tablespoon of iron water (from rusty nails).  Wool previously pale yellow from first dye bath, turned dark blue green; then dried greyed olive tone.

For comparison

Left to Right:

Raspberry cane (soy wax resist white),

Rosemary simple, Rosemary + iron, (rosemary simple on silk is deeper mustard yellow).

Apple twigs (lemon bleached designs)


WOOL SCARF TULIPS (Rosemary and iron dyed above)

PAINTED with natural dyes and BLEACHED with LEMON JUICE

Fine wool scarf painted on and bleached.  Tulips bleached with lemon juice.  Dark leaves have soya milk painted on the shape area first; when dried, dark woad dye (from jar of original mix) is added.  Leaves without soya milk base (brown) show bleeding over wool.  Soya lines within tulip petals (second end) before painting dye over.

Experiment, unsteamed as yet.  Piece will be finished and left for weeks before steaming.  Wool is very open weave, fine, so colouring is experimental.  If the soya base under design shapes produces a good fixed colour, with a clear defining outline, after steaming, it will be very useful for painting designs on other wool lengths already dyed with natural dyes.


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.