Last weekend - before I boiled them up.
Well this weekend was the ceremonial unbundleing if that's a real word! I had a sneak peek last weekend, they didn't really seem to be doing much, not the results that I wanted. So I decided to boil them up to release some more colour. I'm not hopeful as the cottons seem very pale although the silks seem to have taken up more colour.
I had a lovely visitor to cheer me up and then he was gone! A beautiful young woodpecker.
The bundles after boiling and the bundles after leaving for a while longer.
Boiling them up seems to have released quite a lot more of the dye but I still think the colours will be quite pale. Looking at the wet bundles it seem that most of the colour has come from the walnut leaves.
The wet cloths, leaves and bark removed and rinsed in cold water.
These are the dry cloths fresh from the line, they are pale but I like the softness of the colour, delicate like the spring growth that dyed them.
Traces of leaves like a ghost on the cloth.
Traces of the thread that wrapped up the bundle.
In summing up the process I'm not sure whether it is the time of year or the lack of enough dye material (or patience) that caused the cloths to be so pale. I have done a lot of stove top natural dying with good results but that process uses a large quantity of dye material. The amount was quite small that I used here due to the time of year and scarcity of material. I am pleased with the silk which always dyes with a stronger colour whatever method of dyeing you use but the cottons have hardly coloured at all. I will repeat the exercise again throughout the year to compare results.It would be great if cloth can be dyed here in this climate in an eco friendly way with out the use of the stove, we will see, if not there is always solar dyeing and compost dyeing as the year warms up.