Autumn leaves seemed an appropriate start for
this month's dyeing experiments and the gardeners at Winterbourne had supplied us with a bag of fallen leaves of Liquidambar Styraciflua. Sadly, I don't have a photograph of it in all its glory - only of the leaves ready to be soaked in a bucket or water, where they stayed for about 4 weeks.
Our second dye bath was Eucalyptus leaves, which had also been soaking (after being chopped up) as an initial 'cooking' of about an hour had yielded not colour in the water at all. The kitchen smelled lovely during the first cooking as the eucalyptus oil evaporated!
Thirdly, we had Garrya Eliptica, which had been soaking for just 48 hours before being simmered:
Here are the dyed skeins with, starting on the left, Eucalyptus, Garrya and Liquidambar
... and here are the skeins arranged according to their treatment. In each group of three the Eucalyptus is on the left, the Garrya in the centre and the Liquidambar on the right. Skeins 1 - 4 are mordanted with alum (see the first post in this blog), No. 1 are the basic colours without any modification, 2 are modified with acid (very little change), 3 are modified with an alkali (washing soda), 4 with iron water and 5 were on an alum mordant.
... some useful Autumn colours, and the the rich browns from the Liquidambar are particularly good.
December will bring our year of dyeing with plants from Winterbourne to an end and the results will form part of an exhibition there next year.