Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Elderberry dye

I gathered this bunch of elderberries (plus a few manzanita berries) on my daily walk for my little dye experiment.

Here's the dye pot after dyeing...a nice rich color.

The fabric pieces dyed a soft pale mauve color...linen, cotton, linen and some silk kimono lining...didn't dye very well. A fun little experiment...there was only one elderberry bush that still had berries on it...the birds had gotten all the rest. I think picking the berries was my favorite part. I am thinking I may use these in my "Cloth to Cloth" class with Jude.
It was cool and foggy today and I got into my fiber jewelry mood and did some stitching with the two cats snuggled up next to me and a nice cup of tea.


Yael said...

Hi Mary, pretty muted colors you got from your dyeing experience!
I enjoyed the photo of the berries! They are called Holunderbeeren in German and I remember that we picked them from the bushes at the forest edge and made juice from them which we bottled. In the village where we lived the woman of the next farmer would dip the beautiful white flower crowns in pancake dough and deep fry them to a crisp delicious something! Did you ever hear of that?

HollyM said...

I'm not sure if I'd recognize them, but I'm going to look them up. did you use anything with them as a mordant, like alum or ammonia? I've been reading a bit about it and just ordered a book on lichens form our library.
we've been having a raining spell or I would have been out there gathering by now.

Angela said...

Nice soft colors! I second Holly's question, did you use any mordant?

And following up on Yael's comment, Lane makes a thick juice, more like a syrup, from those berries and then serves it with carbonated water like those Italian sodas they serve in cafes.

art spirit said...

Thanks for your comments! For a mordant I put some white vinegar in the pot with the berries and fabric. It seemed to work. I didn't see any good formulas online so I just "winged" it.
Loved Yael's post about the elder flower pancakes! It sounds delicious and I'd never heard of that before. I have collected the flowers for medicinal tea, it's also good for eye wash.

Sweet Birdy Love said...

Hey Mary, just found your blog and am loving all the hooky goodness you make, particularly the owls and birds.
Have enjoyed a browse through your older posts and will be back again.

lynda Howells said...

Thanks for visiting my site. I can now get your blog and have subscribed to itxxx I make and collect my name is HOWELLS....the stage thing is l was an owl addict before l meet my husband!Hax l am experimenting with dying too..blackberries elderberries question. why vinegar and how much did you use?
Love your blog.xx
l have another one art blog

Marie said...

I think my favorite part would be picking the berries too :)
I love being outside and hearing the birds chatter. I loved the soft mauve
color the fabrics became. Your new journal pages are fabulous and what a cozy day you had...nice! <3

PeregrineBlue said...

awesome. i must come up to visit you in santa barbara soon.