Monthly Archives: July 2014

July Dyeing Party

This time of year our gardens are filled with beautiful flowers.  On a sunny day in July five members of the Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild gathered for a day of dyeing.  We all brought contributions of flowers and foliage from our dye gardens.

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We had many activities going on.  We added wool rovings, handspun and antique cotton doilies and table napkins to a French marigold dye bath.

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We layered plant material with a variety of different papers, blank greeting cards, labels, cardboard gift boxes and even sheet music and an old map.  Stacks of layered paper with rocks on top to weigh them down were put in a roasting pan to steam.

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Bundles are always a favourite.  We laid out plant material and sometimes rusty objects on silk scarves, cotton and silk shirts and pieces of silk and cotton fabric.

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We rolled up the bundles and tied them tightly.

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As each bundle was tied we added it to a steamer.

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Then, while the bundles and paper were steaming and the marigold dye bath was simmering, we sat back and enjoyed a lovely lunch.  After a couple of hours of steaming we removed the paper and bundles from their pots.  But no peeking yet!  The papers can be opened in the evening or the next day and the bundles left for at least another day.

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We admired the results of our marigold dyeing.

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10roving with marigolds

Over the next day or two we had the excitement of opening the paper and bundles.

11flower paper

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15crepurposed silk blouse

detail of flower print

It was a wonderful day dyeing with the bounty from our gardens in the company of good friends.

Photos by Deanna Pilling and Christina Symons, words by Heather Apple

 

 

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