poetry and prose about place

harvesting colour – the formula for colour

with 4 comments

My first effort towards my project is to understand what materials I will need.  From my early reading, I have learned the end colour for any project using natural dyes is much more than just adding plant material to water.  A final colour is the result of so many factors.


My simple formula for this complex symphony is:

final colour = source water + utensils + plant material (dyestuff) + mordent + colour modifier + textile fibre 


No doubt, I will discover I have omitted some important element.


In my next posts, I will consider each of these elements and talk about the specific items I intend to use.


For example, I will need some textile fibre to dye.  My intention is to dye small amounts of material for use in various weaving projects.  In my weaving, I use both thread and strips of textiles.

At this early stage, I have three materials I want to dye.  I have a small quantity of unspun fleece obtained a couple of years ago during our trip to Upper Canada Village in Ontario.  I also have three old cotton shirts – I loved to wear these before they became stained – perhaps I will wear them again, repurposed in rainbow colour!  And I have just purchased a meter of white silk (at $37 per meter, it is a splurge!).   I will have to do some preparatory cleaning to each of these materials before I use them in my dyeing projects.



some materials for dyeing … a meter of silk, three shirts, and a bundle of unspun wool … the shirts have already seen their share of accidental dyeing !!!


Behind the scenes, I am finding poetic inspiration as I learn this craft of dyeing.  Eventually I will be brave enough to show my poems to you.


Copyright  2014   Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 17, 2014 at 6:59 am

4 Responses

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  1. I look forward to the results



    February 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm

  2. Hi Jane, What a wonderful project.


    Ellen Grace Olinger

    February 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

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