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?


  1. What beautiful colors the spruce cones have produced. That grey is wonderful!

  2. gorgeous colours.....you think you will get one colour..and Nature gives you another! isn't it greatx

  3. they're also very good at the end of winter, after the thaw, the colours tend to deepen...

  4. India; I'll have to try and see if the colour will intensify then :)

  5. Hi MOna I love your colours form Spruce particularly the grey. I picked up your blog rom Jenny Dean's and noticed you wanted white alpaca so here is a link to the person I bought mine from.http://www.smallholder-agriculture.co.uk/detail/chrysalis-alpacas-wales-213/

  6. Hi Helen, thank you for thinking of me! I might try that, but will try to find a more local supplier in Denmark first :)

  7. The colours are really fantastic. Love that the iron makes such a different colour than the one with out the mordant -and yet they go so well together. Think I might try this Spruce.