nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

harvesting colour – blackberry red and pink

with 7 comments


Autumn is officially here; summer up and left last week.  My complaints are suddenly of chilly evenings, not too-warm nights!  But with this season comes a series of dyeing projects I have been looking forward to – dyeing with berries and autumn leaves.

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berries harvested at our cabin in 2013

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At our summer property, we have blackberries in profusion.  They ripen slowly over a period of three weeks and we eat our fill.  This year I decided to sacrifice a few for the dye pot.

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Dyeing with berries is easy.  I brought three cups of berries to a simmer in three liters of water for about an hour.  The strained liquid was a bright red, the colour of ripe cranberries …

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dye from blackberries

dye from blackberries

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I dyed alum-treated wool with a slow simmer and an overnight soak.  The result was a pale pink, a welcome addition to my collection of ‘mostly brown’ …

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pink wool dyed with blackberries is front and center ... other wools are dyed with (clockwise) oak, meadowsweet, bugleweed, tansy, lily-of-the-valley, beet root, and in the center, carrot tops

pink wool dyed with blackberries is front and center … other wools are dyed with (clockwise) oak (dark brown), meadowsweet (orange), bugleweed (brown), tansy (gold), lily-of-the-valley (grey), and beet root (deep pink), and in the center, carrot tops (green)

 

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I also tried dying linen and cotton with the blackberry dye, and these gave me the burgundy I had hoped for …

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back left to front: wool, linen, cotton and another cotton, dyed with blackberries

back left to front: wool, linen, cotton and another cotton, dyed with blackberries

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I think I will be using the pink/burgundy cotton as the backing for the small ‘harvesting colour’ quilt I plan to make.  I’ll hem the linen and use it in my kitchen.

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March 18, 2012 ‘blackberries’ Jane Tims

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Copyright 2014  Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

September 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

7 Responses

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  1. Blackberries make very pretty colors!

    Like

    Rebecca

    September 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    • Hi Rebecca. The brightest so far. And the first time I have had good colour uptake on the cotton. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      September 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    • It was hard not to eat the blackberries but the results were worth missing out on another bowl of fruit! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      October 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

  2. Hi Jane, So beautiful, all the colors. And the linen and cotton dyed with blackberries is very special. Like your drawing as always!

    Like

    Ellen Grace Olinger

    September 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    • Hi. Thanks! I love the taste of blackberries so much, it was hard to use them for dyestuff, but I’m glad I did. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      September 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

  3. Jane – what gorgeous colors!!! The yarns – spectacular! Looking forward to seeing your “harvesting color’ quilt.

    Like

    seedbud

    September 24, 2014 at 7:36 am

    • Hi. The pile of squares is slowly building. It will be a small quilt, but a great winter project. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      September 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm


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