10 September 2014

That time of year again

... where the japanese indigo is ready for harvesting. Maybe it has been for some time now, but since it needs my hands for working the magic, it had to wait for me to make time. This is what the patch looked like the 21th of July. Until then we had a dry spell, after the rain came they've grown a lot!

I've harvested 6 kg of leaves, which have been standing in jars and buckets outside until today. Too cold, though, for things to happen properly. I've moved it all inside now, and lit up the mass oven so they can get some warmth standing on the bench of the mass oven. Hopefully friday it'll be ready for dyeing.



 Ahh! Doesn't it look gorgeous?

I have a huge amount of plants, I won't be able to use them all. I hadn't the heart to throw away all those lovely seedlings in the spring. I'll gladly share my seeds again this year - when they're ripe!

There have been some eco printing going on this summer, some of it went horribly wrong. Note to self: NEVER use cochenille when you do not like it - even in order to try to make other people happy. I do NOT like cochenille pink in my prints or on my clothes.

I do like this new coreopsis, though. It's called Coreopsis Penny, and is very pretty just as it is - but it  also has splendid possibilities for printing.


18 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I love indigo. I think it's wonderful that you grow it yourself. Funny that I was just thinking about the fact I haven't seen a post from you in some long while. I wonder if you can suggest some kind of natural plant-based dye to get the colour saffron? I know that turmeric is that colour, but don't think it'd be permanent. Glad to see you back.

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    1. Thanks :) - And it sure is wonderful to grow your indigo yourself! - I've tried turmeric, and it's extremely sensitive to sun light, so I won't recommend using it at all. I will suggest trying flowers; different kinds of coreopsis gives pretty yellow/orangey colours, as well as dyer's chamomille flowers. You can try adding a tsp of washing soda to the dye bath, in order to twinge it a bit towards more red tones. That is; yellow turns more orange, orange more red. Good luck!

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  3. Mmmhhh beautiful! How you can get the eco-print colours so neat and perfect? How long did you left the plants on that beautiful dress? My experiments are not coming so well.Thanks to share.
    Betty

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    1. Thanks :) - I don't know if they're so neat and perfect. I've seen lots of other dyers who makes perfect prints. I try to find my own style and choice of plants/colours. But a few advices could be:
      · Try fabric/clothes in plain design - pleats, folds etc makes it hard to get nice prints.
      · Press the leaves in a book a couple of hours before placing them on the fabric.
      · Make accurate folds. Fold/roll tight. Tie the string very taut. Have patience and wait untill the leaves are all spent - weeks are better than days. The last part are the hardest!

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  4. Thank you, yes you are right, waiting for the result is hard! I have two linen bundle steamed yesterday with eucalyptus (London harvest) and one with frozen dahlia petals..let's see! I still don't understand if is better boiled in water or steam ..experiments that is what I read from India books.Next project my first old cotton shirt!

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  5. That's wonderful! I've just bought some indigo dye to experiment with and maybe make some prayer flags. It must be wonderful to use the plants you grew yourself. I'm trying to source some seeds for next season so I can try to do that too. :D

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    1. You can have some of my seeds, they just need to ripen ...Good luck with your indigo experiments!!

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  6. I found your comment on rhivilla ´s blog. I am in France. I would love to have some seeds if you still have. Of course i will pay you the shipping cost. I am already dreaming of dyeing with my own indigo leaves next year.....

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    1. Hi Baukje, I have plenty of seeds! Will make a post soon(ish), so we can make arrangements :)
      Mona

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  7. your work is so lovely-I have not tried indigo as of yet, and I have just started exploring eco printing-so fun

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  8. Hello Mona ! Oh I was waiting that time for the seed , I will contribute for the shipping too if you have few for me too. I am sorry you are not writing more often,I love to read about your beautiful prints and wool stuff!
    But I know is better spend time in doing then writing!
    xx

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