natural dye pot

Welcome to my world of natural dye pot journeys.

apron & hoops

I am continually learning with my dyeing.  I love the whole process of it – the collecting of the leaves (or at times I buy some of the eucalyptus leaves that don’t grow in my area), I also use leaves from my garden and my kids are used to me pulling over while driving (rather quickly at times) to trim leaves off branches that have fallen or have been brought down in stormy weather.  I have a large collection (now) of a variety of pots to brew up my dye, most of these I have found very cheaply from op-shops/thrift shops. A lot of my fabrics are also found in op-shops, cotton or wool cardigans, jumpers or linen shirts (a great source of buttons as well) to re-purpose, cut up or to dye for a unique piece of clothing. Then the fun begins, brewing up the dye, wrapping the cloth up with the leaves, plunging the bundles into the pot and then the wait begins. I am not very good at this part of the process, I want to open it up and see what has happened.

I have had some beautiful pieces come out of the dye pot but also some dramatic failures. This is all part of my journey into the dye pot and I am loving it!!!

I am an huge fan of India Flint‘s work and one day hope to be able to attend a workshop with this extremely talented and passionate creator and storyteller. India has published 2 fabulous books – Eco Colour botanical dyes for beautiful textiles and Second Skin choosing and caring for textiles and clothing. If you are at all interested in natural dyeing I recommend that you visit your local library or purchase India’s books.

So here is a little glimpse into my dye pot journeys.

apron stitch spring pinny-hexagons

spring pinny-silk velvet edgespring pinny-pockets

A re-purposed linen shirt created into an apron or pinny with silk pockets and hand stitched with silk thread dyed in the dye pot.

still wet out of dye pot

 

A cotton sweatshirt still wet out of the dye pot with the colours quite vibrant and rich. I used a variety of eucalyptus leaves and greavillea leaves. 

 

still wet out of dye pot5

tshirt

 

A recently dyed t-shirt using eucalyptus leaves, grevillea leaves and berries (which have left a great dot resist from the seeds inside them). Little surprises like this are why I love this form of dyeing. 

 

 

 

dye cardigan

 

A cotton cardigan that I bought at an op-shop / thrift shop for a couple of dollars and dyed it with a variety of eucalyptus leaves. 

 

dyepot leaves

 

 

 

Eucalyptus leaves creating their magic in the  dye pot.

 

 

 

 

dye bundles

 

Awaiting the reveal. Bundles out of the dye pot.

I find this the hardest part of the whole process as time is the friend of the wrapped bundles but I am always in such a hurry to see what has happened in the pot.

I need to work on my patience!!!

8 Comments

  1. Kreetta
    May 24, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    Wow, wonderful work Fi! Really beautiful things. This is great post! I wish I could do same in the future.

    Reply

    • Fi
      May 24, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

      Thanks again so much Kreetta, you inspired me to dig through my photos and put more images up and re-do my page about my dyeing. Oh and you will certainly be able to do work like this in the future I am sure of that x Fi

      Reply

  2. niece
    June 11, 2013 @ 7:20 am

    LOVE the little circular framed ones in the top pic! GREAT idea. would like to order one of those ploise 🙂 x

    Reply

    • Fi
      July 10, 2013 @ 9:37 am

      Hi there Amy, a little framed one will be in the mail very soon for you – belated birthday present xxx

      Reply

  3. Fran
    June 25, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    Hi there, may I ask how you treated the cotton t’s and cotton cardigan to get the print, prior to bundling into the pot? and what sort of pot? My cotton t is not quite picking up the detail. thank you

    Reply

    • Fi
      July 10, 2013 @ 9:40 am

      Hi Fran, thanks for stopping by my blog and regarding your enquiry re dyeing with cotton. You have to mordant your cotton fabrics first before using a natural dye. I use milk, plain ordinary cows milk. Soak your fabric overnight, just squeeze out and leave to dry before wrapping and dyeing. Try this out and let me know how you go! Cheers Fi x

      Reply

  4. isobel
    November 3, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    Hi there
    Lovely lovely work, so beautiful, vibrant and unique.
    Wanting to get into natural dying myself, how did you learn to dye?
    Cheers Isobel x

    Reply

    • Fi
      November 8, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

      Hi Isobel,
      Thank you for your lovely comments. I have taught myself but with the help of India Flint’s books, she also has a wonderful blog
      http://prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.com.au
      Pop over to her blog and you will be truly inspired!
      Cheers Fi x

      Reply

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