1/28/2013

arbutus unedo, second & successful dye !


The natural material I used for my last dyeing is nothing new to me. I tried dyeing with it once, back in December 2010 (feels so long ago while it isn't so) At the time, I had mordanted the fibers with alum, and hadn't done much researchs about it, I just tried dyeing with it.
I'm talking about Arbutus unedo, also known as Strawberry tree in English, or arbousier, en français.

This time around, I have read more books, looked for more informations, and I found that it was rich in tannic acid ... ahaaaaaah ... yes ! So I tried again dyeing with the leaves ... on UNmordanted fibers (linen & cotton mostly, but I also dyed a little wool & silk) ... and modified with iron. And ... ta da ...

arbutus unedo dyed goodness

Here's a delicious pile of arbutus unedo dyed, or tie-dyed, or di-dyed, goodness !
Grey, I obtained a wonderful grey, and the very best about it is ... that arbutus unedo grows leaves all year around, which will allow me to dye with it all year around too ! It grows abundantly in some places (where I picked it), and believe me, I didn't gather so much for dyeing !
Pomegranate had given me similar results, but there is only one season of pomegranate, while it is always the season for arbutus unedo ! Hoorray ! Here's a local, abundant, not endangered, constant source for grey color ! I'm so excited !
What did I dye, you wonder ?
Three regular gauze cotton scarves, and for the first time, a MAXI one, which is the same length but TWICE as wide !


arbutus unedo dyed goodness

Also for the first time (and no surprise, it'll happen more regularly from now on !) ... I dip-dyed a gauze scarf (half of it actually) :

arbutus unedo dyed goodness

Remember the dyeing session two weeks ago that didn't go well ? I over-tie-dyed the batiste scarf I had dyed with rosehips ! No waste !

arbutus unedo dyed goodness

There are several circles/motifs all over the scarf. Nice ! I also tried to innovate, and am starting today to offer you naturally dyed sewing/craft supplies. You will be able to find naturally dyed cotton twill tape in the shop from now on.

arbutus unedo dyed goodness

arbutus unedo dyed goodness

I have tie-dyed a linen panel, and I have made two pouches too, but couldn't take photos this weekend. I'll add them today or tomorrow in the shop. I re-took photos of all the naturally dyed scarves in the shop, with a lighter background, and frankly I like it better this way !




Thanks for visiting, for reading, and for your comments, always ! Have a wonderful week ahead, everyone !

6 comments:

  1. absolutely beautiful...what a wonderful grey color...yeah!!!

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  2. Such a gorgeous colour!! And so happy to hear you'll be able to dye with it all year!

    Will you add fabrics as well - apart from the tie dyed samples?

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    1. Hi Eva ! Thank you so much !
      I don't know yet about selling fabrics.
      There are so many things I'd love to do in the meantime !
      xoxo

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  3. Hi, Sonia, this gray is absolutely beautiful! Just such a color I would dye my pants with natural linen. I'm in the garden Arbutus unedo, but I do not know how to get this effect. Did you could write me how to do it? I'll be very grateful :)

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    1. Hello Margaret,
      You have to simmer/boil the leaves, for up 30mn or so, then strain the leaves, add iron sulfate in your dye bath (in a plastic bucket would be better), add your fibers & stir well. If dyeing wool or silk, don't let them in it for more than a couple of minutes (it'll damage them, otherwise). That's all.
      Hoping it helps.

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