Thursday, October 05, 2006



I love it when so many things intersect so beautifully! Since I'm starting to learn about natural dyeing, I'm extra-glad that my still is copper. Copper, in various forms, is used as both a mordant (color-fixer) and dye for wool, silk, etc. - and, it is a metal, so it occasionally reacts with the chemical constituents of various herbs I put in it. So....when I clean out my condenser, I just throw a little vinegar in it, and pretty soon I have a beautiful blue-green solution that I save and use as a mordant and dye. And sometimes, when I distill things, I open the still (the next day, after it's cooled), and find the herbs on top a bright, BRIGHT green color. Like, technicolor green. It's happened to me with lemon balm, various mints, and today, Lemon eucalyptus.

So....today I happened to have a few pre-mordanted silk scarves on hand, because I've been playing with flower pounding (bashing flowers into silk to impregnate the silk with colors and the flower imprint. It's easy and HIGHLY addictive). I took the beautiful leftover (already-distilled)lemon eucalytus leaves with green "stuff" on them, and did some imprinting onto a couple of silk scarves. I took another scarf, and just wiped down the inside of the still - the scarf is now a GORGEOUS bright green color. Last, but not least, I saved a gallon of leftover lemon eucalyptus "tea" (the liquid left in the bottom of the pot of my still), and I'm going to take that home and try doing some dyepot dyeing with both silk and wool, using that.

I'll post pics later, but it probably wont' be until tomorrow. We're teaching a "Lovin' Lavender" class tonight, so it will be a very long day at work for us.

Here's a pic of our still, if that helps you visualize what I was doing. :)

3 comments:

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

our Lady thinks that stuff sounds really cool. we're trying to convince her not to get too interested because she doesn't have enough free time for us as it is

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

ooooh - thanks for adding the pictures. that's lovely!
Karen
servant to Grr, Midnight & Cocoa

KC said...

oh, that is so pretty. are you planning perhaps to offer some of these lovely goodies for sale?