Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Story of Two Blues

Inspiration from 
India Flint's book, Eco-Colour
I finished reading the book this morning and decided to use these wonderful plants as the start of my eco-dye investigations.

I have two Iris Japonica plants growing along side my house. 
Initially received as tubers as a gift years ago from my sister, Marianne.
One is bluer than the other.
I collected some spent flowers and some quite in bloom.
My dear 91 year old mother, Bertha, deconstructed some old silk shirts I picked up at the 2nd-hand store. (washed)
Keeping the 2 Blues separated, we spread some of the brilliant blues onto damped silk.
and wrapped them into bundles.

 and placed them into 2 separate jars with the remaining blue bits to swish around in the water.
and covered with plastic.
To cook in the sun for the next several weeks.
Stay tuned for a blue hue unveiling.

Bertha says, "We waste a lot of time and don't realize it".
I say...
Make some color with time.


  1. try picking those flowers just before they begin to brown
    then putting them
    into the freezer overnight
    [in the jar you mean to use]
    then pouring cool water onto the frozen flowers
    magic will happen
    after which you can proceed as above...

  2. Oh goodie! I've got more flowers, look for experiment number 2. Thank you India.

  3. I have tried this with onion skins, but after a few weeks the color just faded away. How well does the color stay in the silk?

    I love your blog, by the way. A friend sent me the link when you posted some embroidery photos. Love to look at all the exciting things you post.

  4. Susan, I didn't use a mordant, so it's likely that the blue I want will be grey. According to what I've read, silk accepts dye very well. I will be posting more information to share what happens. Thanks for your comments.

  5. Would alum or cream of tartar work as a mordant?

    I love those quotes from Bertha! Christine, you are so lucky she is still with you all.


  6. Yes Diana Alum would work as would other mordants. I choose not to use any since I didn't have any at hand and I was eager to just do it! I can always overdye later using a mordant, or put a post-mordant on it. However, this was purely an experiment and not exactly what India suggests in her book.


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