Eco printing in September

So many richly coloured dye plants at the end of August and start of September! These few weeks, I have eco-printedsilk with some familiar dyes  like purple sandcherry, purple basil, tagetes and coreopsis. These I combined  with seasonal dye plants new to me : carrot tops ;  red sumac berries;  Canada golden rod blossoms and leaves; Korean pear leaves (now turning fall red); plus a few plants obtained locally but not grown in my garden: purple cabbage for blues and purples; and eucalyptus for reds and pinks. A final dye experiment was with lichen collected from a fallen log.

Some images:

1. Coreopsis verticillata (red-orange) with tagetes (orange and green):

2. Red Amaranth in an eco bundle.

In the dye pot at 180 degrees, the purple dye makes the fibres yellow-green not purple, but in the steamed eco-bundle, the pink-purple colour is retained. It starts to stain the fibres as soon as the steam begins to penetrate the bundle.

3. The whole plant, Red Amaranth :

4.  Purple sandcherry makes a lovely blue purple eco print. With iron liquor( 50-50, white vinegar 5% acid and water plus some rusty nails) the blues turn to lovely greys and browns:

5. Blue-green lichen simmered at 180 gave this tan colour. (I do not know the lichen name, though: see image below. )

6. Lichen

 7. Purple cabbage is a revelation in an eco bundle! Though it smells no where near as lovely as the other plants while simmering, the range of blues and lavenders and purples that is releases is amazing. Plus the shape of the cabbage slice prints in interesting ways and with splashes of fuschia. Wow!  Purple cabbage print:

8. Purple cabbage with tagetes (green and orange):

 9. Eucalyptus and tagetes: the pinks and reds are eucalyptus.

I got the eucalyptus from my local florist. That plants and the cabbage are the only dye plants I have not grown myself for these experiments

(image coming)

10. The red candles on the sumac are very plentiful now- enough for my dye pot and for the birds’ winter food.

I bundled the sumac berries into a silk panel that I had previously dyed yellow with coreopsis:

11. And a whole collection of dyed silk panels came out of this batch -next post!


About wendyfe

I am a fibre artist working in mixed media textiles with a focus on vintage cloth reworked with stitching, natural dyeing, eco printing and rust printing . My work can be seen at
This entry was posted in Art Cloth, dye plants, Eco Prints, Natural Dyeing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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