Further Explorations into Natural Dying

Following my previous experimentation with silk and natural dyes, which produced a gorgeous deep indigo colour on fine woven silk, I ended up having another go at it, this time producing five silk scarves which will be for sale.  I had a lot of fun with this, playing with logwood chips again to see if I could get some varying shades, and with madder root which produces shades of apricot, salmon and rose pink.    The only problem I found with the madder root was that it was rather tricky to get it to dye a deep enough colour!  I ended up using double the recommended amount of madder root and then dipping one of the scarves a second time in order to achieve a colour that is a cross between salmon and rose pink – but I don’t mind that at all as both the scarves dyed in the madder turned out gorgeous colours!  It’s quite tricky getting an even dye but I actually like the uneven results – it gives character!

The logwood chips don’t provide a hugely noticeable range of shades – I left the first scarf in for 15 minutes, the second in for 30 and the third for 45 minutes, and got increasingly deep shades of purple.  The one left in for ten minutes came out a lovely shade of blue, but the ones left for 30  minutes or more go increasingly indigo.   I’ve got two yards of silk currently sitting next to me, and I’m wondering what to do with it next….   I’m thinking ivy berries, which produce a lovely silvery green.   I have yet to decide, though.

Incidentally, I’m expanding my little company, Eldrum Herbs, into a bigger overall company, the Eldrum Tree.   This will have two branches – Eldrum Herbs, for the herbal side of things, and Eldrum Emporium for the retail stuff, including all the dried herbs and tea blends, if I can still sell them after the new medicines legislation.   Eldrum Emporium is going to include all the handmade stuff I love to make – silk, cotton and wool dyed with natural dyes, handmade candles, jewellery, drawstring pouches, candle holders and suchlike.   I’m really rather excited about this new branch to the company!

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