For a while I’ve been reading about natural dyes, but I was bit hesitant to try because my lack of time (one more thing on my plate). I had dyed with eucalyptus and walnuts in the past, because the source is easy available to me and because the fact that I don’t need to pre mordant the fiber before. But when I stumbled upon India Flint’s book it was too dificult to resist the temptation of trying dyeing with plants again. The book is filled with beautiful photography of her hand dyed fabrics and projects. I like her approach of natural dyeing without the use of toxic chemicals that causes damage to our environment and our health.
India is a designer, feltmaker, writer and probably the inspiration source of many fiber artists.
I didn’t wait too long before I founded myself gathering eucalyptus leaves and bark to dye a piece of silk perfect for my first project. I have a grove of Eucalyptus growing near where my workshop is so I went ahead and get some piece to start my project.
Eucalyptus is a great way to experiment because it doesn’t need mordant. Great for a beginner like me.
I played a little bit with the design of my project. I know that the best time to harvest the leaves for dyeing is during summer or dry season, because the pigment is more intense and since it has been raining here lately, I predicted that the colors were not going to be of much intensity.
This is the first bundle ready to be steamed. I put it in the pot for about an hour. The nice smell of the eucalyptus vapors filled my small workshop. Eucalyptus is also a great moth deterrent, so I always keep a bunch of leaves near my wool. I will post more pics of my experiment later…