Saturday, March 23, 2013

Camellia Dyeing, naturally

We have several very large and beautiful
 Camellia bushes
in our yard.
They are bright red,
and bloom at least six months
out of the year.
I have taken them for granted -
at least until this week.
Recalling that the red Texas Star Hibiscus
bloom turned blue 
when eco-dyed,
I thought I'd give the camellia blossoms a whirl.
I used linen that I had soaked in sea water
while at the beach,
and wrapped the blossoms on a copper pipe.

As soon as I removed my bundle from my pot,
I knew that I was in for a treat:

The red blossoms had thrown off a lovely
pinky-mauve color.
Above you can see the resist lines 
left from my wrapping string.

I was really very pleased with the results.
I'm not sure if the sea water has 
heightened the dye reaction,
and I don't have anymore linen to try a comparison,
but I have since dyed a silk/wool blend scarf
using more of the same camellia blossoms.
I will report back when I unfurl that bundle.
Here is an image showing a bit more of the linen
with the camelia blossom:

As you can see, there is also 
a good bit of yellow on the linen...
perhaps from the bright yellow stamens?

Jane asked about my hand made napkins.
I use 100% cotton that I purchase in bulk from
Sometimes I hem the squares,
using a double folded 1/4" hem,
stitching with white 100% cotton thread,
and then I dye them with whatever technique I want.
Usually though, as in the case posted the other day,
I simply zig zag around the edges,
1/4" in, with white 100% cotton thread.
Then I dye.
As the excess outer threads unravel over time,
the napkins really become lovely.
This is a great way to try out new techniques
before jumping into a huge project.
I often dye coordinating table runner fabric at the same time,
but then I quilt those.
It's even nicer to dye two different table runner fabrics.
That way you can just turn the thing over 
for a easy change.
Can you tell I am easily bored?

peace to you


Terrie said...

Very pretty prints look like watercolor painting. So nice to have blue. I tried before. I got purple but blur and "melted" outlines not good as yours. Love yours.

Heather P said...

Beautiful Judy! Very subtle and very charming.

Jeannie said...

What ethereal prints! They are gorgeous! I look forward to seeing how they print on silk since it has less texture. Lucky you to have camelias. They don't grow here due to the dry winter and heat. :( I wonder why sea water gives such excellent results? Have a happy!

Peggy said...

Love the delicate prints. I was in New Orleans over Thanksgiving week and brought back some camellia leaves which I didn't have much success with. Flowers weren't in bloom yet.

Carol said...

Very lovely textures, Judy, and I like the patches of yellow. I noticed yesterday my first sassanqua camellias are beginning to flower. Earlier than I expected but everything in the garden is a bit confused. xox

Jane LaFazio said...

Okay, thanks Judy on the napkin scoop. Now, my question, can we see a stack of your napkins? Can you tell I'm quite curious about this. It's so very martha stewart that I adore it!