21 December 2011

Spruce cones

Leaves have become dry and shriveled, or mushy and slimy - depending on weather and latitude - at least here in the northern hemisphere. Now we have to look for other plant materials for dyeing for a while. We don't have to look for long, though. Spruce are rather common in these parts of the world, and they are blessing us with loads of wonderful dyeing materials.

From top:
· cotton gauze
· wool yarn
· dupioni silk
· merino wool fabric

No mordants used for the peachy colour - the greys achieved by dipping in rain water made rich in iron with rusty nails. Which is also lying around on the ground, like the cones. People living in our house in former times found it convenient to dump their garbage in the garden, so now I can pick up handfuls of rusty nails (as well as broken glass et cetera) years after.

According to my books spruce cones yield browns. Well, not this time they did. But I love the colours, so generously provided by my trees and ancestors. The grey is one of the best I've achieved, so rich and dark.

Have you got any spruce cone experiences you want to share?

07 December 2011


It seems I'll be able to grow Japanese indigo from my own organic seeds next year.

I got all kinds of different turqoise colours from this years crop. Perhaps I'll be able to make darker shades, or even indigo, next year.

Found a beautiful blog about growing japanese indigo. Apparently they put some of the harvested indigo plants in buckets of water to make the seeds mature. Must try that next year.