Thursday, January 6, 2011

ice flower dyeing

About a month ago, I tried out "ice flower dyeing" -- described in Eco Colour by India Flint as a way to draw better color from fragile flower petals.  Earlier in the fall I had collected various flower petals from the garden, placed them in freezer bags by type and color, and then into the freezer. Red geranium (pelargonium) flower petals were first up. The good thing about using geraniums is their flower petals can be collected even now if you're overwintering a plant in the house.

cloth to be dyed: cotton, silk & linen

            bag of frozen red geranium petals

 quickly place the flower petals into a muslin bag with drawstring top

 bag of flower petals, quart glass jar of lukewarm water with 1/2 t. alum for mordant, cloth

 immerse the bag all at once into the warm water . . .

 after a few seconds . . . breathtaking!

mash the bag with a wooden spoon to release even more color . . .

immerse cloth into jar of dye-bath, then let steep for however long you'd like.
this is the plant the flowers are from. 
the black dog is daisy and the brown dog is talula. 
daisy likes to sit "at table" on the window seat but not at mealtimes!

At this point the cloth is still in the dye-bath and it looks pink.
My next step is to heat the dye-bath, then iron the cloth, and lastly place in vinegar water.
All to see what will happen!


  1. looking good. Hope to see the results x I am going to try it with some flowers l froze soonxxlynda

  2. lynda -- thanks! what kind of flowers will you be using?

  3. I had fantastic results with some purple pansies. Doing more this summer.

  4. Deb, oh now I wish I would've saved purple pansies but thanks for telling me, it won't be too much longer now hopefully! Have some frozen purple petunias to try next though.