Saturday, January 9, 2016

News from the Dye Pot

For those of you who are not interested in eco-printing you might want to forward on to the next blog you follow and catch me in a few days when I post a new polka dot tunic!

If you are still tuned in this post is a recap of most everything I printed over the beautiful fall months here on California's central coast...Monterey Bay to be exact.

All of the pieces are recycled cashmere sweaters; some in pieces and some the whole sweater.  You will see, in some cases, where I printed more than one piece with the exact same materials, in the same dye bath to get enough fabric to make something.  The smaller pieces were testers but I think put together they will make a very wonderful shawl or huge scarf.

 I'll try to list all of the plants I used.  I came to find that fall is a plentiful time to gather leaves.  Most of the colors I got were in the green and yellow/gold range, which is lucky for me since I love those colors and can wear them.

This and the following 5 pics are all late autumn green, yellow and orange nectarine leaves from our tree.  Sometimes they fall when they are still green but mostly yellow and orange.

This was printed on a very light weight cashmere and silk blend.  I'm looking for more of this type fabric, it prints so beautifully.  I believe it is similar to a fabric India Flint loves to use that uses merino wool.  I'm on the lookout!

 This is from Dodonaea.  It's a landscape plant that's pretty common here.  It prints both green and it!  It looks like a landscape itself.

More nectarine.

These two I printed in India Flint's class.  I'm sure it has apple leaves, onion skins and dark spots from the iron in the dye bath.

Boy, I know this one has decorative plum leaves which dye an amazing dark teal green.  And a wee bit of loquat that prints the most amazing apricot/melon color...but what else I do not remember.  Bad on me. I vow, once again, to keep better records in 2016.

This is apple leaves and onion skins with some dark spots due to the eucalyptus/iron dye bath.

More decorative plum and loquat.

More onion and mystery stuff!

This is fallen yellow persimmon!

Yet more nectarine, my tree and that of some generous unknowing donor in Santa Cruz who had gorgeous fallen orange leaves by the bucket.  Thank you, Lisa, for introducing me to this find.   I only pick up leaves where I think I am doing the owners a service by cleaning up their yard!

These three are eucalyptus but exactly which one I cannot say.  My friend Joan brought them to me from her garden.  I will be finding out which on because the pumpkin color they produced is exhilarating!
There were some maple leaves thrown in, too.  But again, my friend Lisa gave them to me already dried so I cannot name them.

More decorative plum leaves and one big loquat.  It's from the same dye bath as the other one above. I'm in the process of making a vest from these combined with the two pieces dyed with the Dodonaea.  Yes, I'll can't stop me.

  That's all for now, as if it wasn't too much!


  1. WOW! What a journey you've been on. Some fabulous pieces. Can't wait to see how you take this forward.

  2. So stunning! Were all the sweaters light to begin with, or did you somehow bleach them first?

  3. Wow! What terrific results! I'm taking a workshop with Indian Flint in Sept. I've started experimenting and documenting on Instgram -bmarksor. My samples are just 8"x8" for now. I've got a eucalyptus bundle to unwrap tomorrow. So exciting! Again, thanks for posting & sharing!

  4. Oh, my! Such deliciousness of color, texture, and composition. How lovely.

  5. Fascinating and such amazing colours.

  6. What a wonderful range of colours you have achieved. Were these thrift shop finds we never get items like that over here. I shall have to start wearing paler clothes so that I can dye them when they start falling apart.

  7. This work is incredible. Amazing what nature can give us.

  8. What a treat to see these beauties!

  9. Beautiful work. I have some dried eucalyptus soaking and will do some printing today. I have used ornamental plum to print with and got a purple color. It is so much fun to experiment with different species and wait to see the magic happen! I am teaching a natural dyeing class on Saturday and will use a avocado pit bath, eucalyptus and possibly black walnut.

  10. How amazing. What wonderful colours and patterns.


  12. I've just found your blog and it is amazing watching your journey. I'm at the beginning of my eco printing one. So far I've played around using iron with most of my leaves and used steam to heat the leaves. I'm wondering with the green examples at the start of this entry if they went into a dyebath too. If you can remember could you please comment. Thanks

  13. Wow, wonderful colors, especially those greens. My local sewing group is taking on some eco dyeing next month so thanks for the inspiration.

    1. You are so welcome. Yes, I love the green, too!


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