23 November 2009

About my experiments

No new experiment today ... but just a little explanations about my dyeing experiments, because I felt I needed to expose you my personal point of view.

I love Nature, there's no doubt about it. In my everyday life, I try to be as earth friendly as can be.

My hubby, our two sons & I, live in the heart of a 250.000 inhab. town, in the south of France. We rent an appartment that has no garage, no garden, no balcony, no attic.
We don't own a car (where would we park it anyway ?!) and walk to the boys' schools (four times a day, thanks), walk to shop for food, and hubby walks to work (tribunal) when he has to go there. (he works mainly from home)
We don't own a freezer, nor a drier. We don't watch TV, and our boys only watch DVDs we bought for/with them.
We eat almost exclusively organic food, and have started to grown our own sprouted seeds at home, and soon will bake our bread too.

OK, this was a bit of a background, which was maybe unnecessary, but if you didn't know me before, well maybe this was useful.

I have seen several friends & ladies on Flickr/on their own blogs, sharing their personal experience with dyeing with plants, and the need to dip my own toes slowly but surely grew. I finally got started, with the help of my hubby, earlier this month. And all I can say is that it is addictive, more particularly because it's part art, part chemistry, part nature, part surprise ... how not to love dyeing with plants ?!

But, I don't want to experiment all plants that are known for dyeing. I mean, when I looked on Google about dyeing with ginkgo leaves, I had no result at all. How was that possible, specially with the result they gave ?!

In fact, what I really mean, is that for all my dyeing experiments, I will use plants that I can find very locally, that grow during the season we're in, and as much as it is possible, I will try to use materials that are in big or huge quantity. (like the fallen yellow ginkgo leaves ...) May it be leaves, berries, fruits ...

I'm slowly but surely documenting & reflecting about what I can find here, and during which season, and I am already eager to try several plants, but I'm not going to spoil the surprises until I manage to find them, collect them & dye with them.

And one last thing ... I am against using animals for dyeing, so NO galls for me (they're insects anyway) ... no cochineal ... for instance. I can't bear the idea of boiling animals, even insects, to death.

I hope that you have a clearer idea about my very own experiments now.


  1. Hello Sonia, nice to learn more about you and your approach to dyeing. This is a thought-provoking post.

    Just wanted to say that like you I was a bit wary of using galls but came to the conclusion that if you collect them in the autumn, the insects will have left. The galls I found all had holes in them and were empty inside. The holes mean that the insect either left when it grew up or that another creature (bird or insect) got into the gall and ate it...

  2. i enjoy reading your chatty blogs & following your dyeing experiments... you don't have a freezer? not even a little one inside the refrigerator? (do you happen to own a microwave? we didn't have a microwave when we lived in France...)
    hope you are having a happy week !


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