Sunday, November 9, 2014

Plant Dyes - Bindweed

Another round of plant dying experiments. This time I'm targeting perhaps the most plentiful plant material on our property - Bindweed. That's right, I wasn't neglecting my weeding, I was collecting important dyestuffs! 

In to a pot it went, covered with water and boiled for several hours, then left overnight.
My resource is an old book,  perfect for my project! Rocky Mountain Dye Plants by Anne Bliss (What a great name!) It has a broad swath of plants, identification information, and descriptions of the colors achieved with different mordents.

The fibers are Lincoln roving, Norwegian top spun chunky, and 2-ply Irish wool, plus some crewel wool.

First, the wool must be soaked, then simmered in alum as a mordent. While that was happening I removed the plant material from the dye pot, as bindweed is a tangly mess it was pretty easy! As always, a few leafy bits remained.

I simmered the wool on low for several hours, then left it overnight again to cool. The color hadn't deepened much since the day before.
It took several rinses to remove the excess dye, but the color didn't fade in the least!

After drying in the sun it was looking a pleasant creamy gold. The color is a bit light for me, in the future I'll need to pack in some more bindweed! Or, it may be because the plants were gathered at the end of the season, a comparative dye might need to happen next spring. I can bet that there will be lots of bindweed again...


Catherine said...

This really is interesting. Catherine

Pink said...

Thanks, Catherine. I'll be trying all kinds of plant dyes over the next year, so keep tuning in!