2013-03-11

osyris alba

Last year, probably around the same period, I spotted a plant while hiking locally. After some researchs, I discovered that I could try to dye with it. I promised myself to go back there & collect some for a first experiment. (because natural dyeing is no exact science) So that's what we did, over a week ago. We hiked, picked said plant, and last week I dyed with it. Now, let me show you & introduced you to the plant below !

osyris alba

osyris alba

osyris alba

This is Osyris alba (ou rouvet, en français), a small perennial, semiparasitic broom-like shrub. This plant has numerous longitudinally striated branches, green when young. The leaves are linear, lanceolate, coriaceous, persistent, although sometimes deciduous. Leaves are produced during the winter while in summer they are almost totally absent. The fruits are small red fleshy drupes, and very toxic.

After my researches, I discovered that it was rich in tanic acid ... which was interesting for me. The dye bath turned out beautiful, as you can see below. (that's my mom's hand holding the jar)

Osyris alba dyebath

And the results ...

osyris alba dyeing

osyris alba dyeing

osyris alba dyeing

osyris alba dyeing

It was really hard to capture the real colors, simply because there are almost all different depending the fiber !! Wool was the one fiber that dyed the most deeply, linen & silk took up well, and cotton was paler but still very good, and a color that is not so easy to achieve. Can you see the variations in the ball of wool yarn itself ? (the palest ball is silk) I loooove it !

Then, I modified with iron a portion of what I had dyed with it ... and got a very lovely grey, not too dark, not too light.

osyris alba (iron modified) dyeing

osyris alba (iron modified) dyeing

I tie-dyed two cotton batiste scarves & one cotton gauze scarf, as well as another cotton gauze scarf with I modified with iron.

naturally dyed with osyris alba

naturally dyed with osyris alba

naturally tie-dyed with osyris alba

naturally tie-dyed with osyris alba

They are already in the SHOP.

This afternoon I shall be using other fibers that I dyed with Osyris alba, and I hope to share them with you soon.

WIP

Thanks for stopping by !

12 comments:

  1. Love those greys - awesome photos!

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  2. Such a gorgeous plant! And I love the colours you achieved.

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    1. Thanks a lot Eva ! I'm very happy with this dyeing ! :) ox

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  3. Gosh wonderful results........well spotted!

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    1. Thank you ! This plant is indeed difficult to spot, but a curious eye can find them ! ;-)

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  4. Amazing colors so pretty and beautiful!!!!!! And amazing pictures,of course!Makes me dream....)

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  5. Gorgeous Sonia :)

    What, if anything, did you use to mordant your linens and cottons?

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    1. Thanks a lot Annie !
      I use alum, even for cotton & linen. For the dyeings I modify with iron, I do not mordant since tanin is strong enough. (like for your buckets, for instance) But I have started mordanting gauze scarves with soy milk too.

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  6. So gorgeous, Sonia!! I have collected a nice stash of vintage cotton and linen fabrics this winter and may also have some wool available soon. I look forward to getting back to natural dye experiments and reading your posts for inspiration. Thanks for sharing your experiments with us.

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    1. Thank you Susane ! I'm glad my dyeing blog inspires you to have your own experiments ! Thank you for stopping by :)

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