Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ice berry dyeing

I was all set to do some ice flower dyeing to achieve a bluish-purple color. But the frozen purple petunias had somehow disappeared from the freezer. Now how does that happen, anyway? The best I could do was run out into the rain and pick all the pansies with blue or purple petals, get them into the freezer asap, and then start a countdown of at least 24 hours. But I was too antsy to wait, plus everything was ready to go, so I grabbed some frozen elderberries meant for syrup and did a little ice berry dyeing instead.

Frozen elderberries placed in warm water.

Cloth immersed in dye-bath for 48 hours, stirred occasionally. Alum was the mordant.
Hung to dry.

Left to right: Linen, silk shantung, silk organza and wool.

These photos are straight off the camera with no tweaking at all. Purplish-pinkish, with a watercolor effect on the linen and wool. I've ironed these, but haven't washed them. Don't know that I will, actually.


  1. Hi Lyn, I like that -- yummy scrummy!

  2. Wow! Love the colors. Beautiful!
    What will the fabric become?
    Can't wait to see....

  3. serious? that is all you do?
    pick, freezer, boil, dye?
    how many flowers does it take?

  4. Marie, thanks -- not sure yet about how I'll use it . . . sort of stash-building, I guess!

  5. Cristina -- thanks -- yes, you just need about 1 or 2 cups of frozen petals, then drop them in warm water and smoosh around, then mix in mordant, then immerse the presoaked cloth and let it soak. And that's it. No boiling even! From India Flint's book on dyeing.

  6. I have a container of pansies I have been saving. Love the lines that run across the fabric.

  7. Deb, I remember you writing blue pansies were fantastic, way back when! The lines are the main reason I'm not washing these yet, I don't want to lose them.

  8. These are amazing! So the colors.

  9. Nancy, thanks -- so fun to see what color the plant world comes up with next!