Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blue Mountain from Indigo 我見藍山

I call this "Blue Mountain".  Why?

Honored to be a guest speaker for the tertiary students  to share "Making of Eco Print" and a research project of "Revival of Natural Dye" for the education institute THEi.  One of the objectives is to promote the concept of sustainability.   Yesterday we gone through the schedule for the workshop in a couple of weeks and I got a few types of dye plants from the campus-based garden for an experiments on dyes.  
有幸參與設計學院的天然染色再生研究項目, 昨日取得在學院園內培植可作染色的植物進行實驗, 馬藍的靛藍很出色, 利用這色料,  我做了羊毛書皮小本子.

I'm new to extracting dye.  Can't wait to do the testing at night.  The left is Strobilantes ( 馬藍) for indigo blue, other two are Bidens sp (白花鬼針草) and Commelina (鴨拓草) .  I cut each into pieces and put in jars respectively. Poured hot water but not boiling and fermented for an hour.

While waiting for the outcome of dyes, I laid the euc leaves on drawing papers as the students may want to do prints on papers. Folded in stacks, tied and boiled for an hour. 
I also tried two pieces of Strolbilantes leaves (馬藍葉) on silk fabric and steam for an hour.  Outcome is pale purple.
All leaves on  drawing papers got yellowish prints, good and clear.

I binded the papers and made a white wool felt cover.

After an hour of fermentation, the indigo blue come from Strobilantes, I didn't use any lime or so.  I dipped two third of the wool into the jar for 15 minutes. Quite happy with the color, it's grey to blue. 

For this experiment I found Strobilantes are good for dyeing and printing.  I have to learn from experts how to make a perfect dyeing vat. 
Wool is easy to get color.
A small journal of 72 pages.

Eco prints of three sorts of euc leaves

A little gift......
I call it "Blue Mountain from Indigo"
Indeed when I was making it I thought of these mountain ridges - Pak Sin Leng in Hong Kong. 
Our offices are facing the ridges and I like to stroll along the promenade after lunch.
Will do hiking again in the coming crispy autumn days. 

These jars are still going on fermentation. See how they look like later.

Linking with Happyhourprojects
Linking with CreativePrincess
Linking with acatlikescurioty
Linking with Adoredfromabove party.
Linking with DIY Dreamer


  1. The blue color is just as pretty as your view of the mountains. Have fun with your students!

  2. Oh, super, Terriea!! You are branching out more and more with each post! The indigo blue is lovely...I hope you'll be doing more of these! XXO-

  3. Found and followed you through Adorned from Above's link party! This is so cool and I've honestly never seen this done. The whole process is just beautiful.

    Hope you stop by my blog sometime!


  4. Just beautiful Terrie! I love the color indigo and what a great technique you demonstrated. Not sure if you knew but a few weeks ago, I featured you from my party:) Hope you have a great day.

    1. Thank you Debbie. Oh, you made me a day! You're so sweet.

  5. Lovely! How amazing that indigo comes out of that green plant. Are there other sources for indigo colored natural dye or is it just the one plant.

  6. Those colours are really beautiful. You're amazing, Terrie!

  7. Fascinating to see how green leaves produce such a variety of colours when used for printing!

  8. How wonderful once again to read about your explorations, Terrie; for me, a beginner, watching what you are doing is inspiring indeed. So you got the indigo from the strobilanthes.. great; and I love your blue mountain especially jext to the photo of the harbor!

  9. Wow you wonderful woman...beautiful workx

  10. Wow!! I am really loving these leaf printed books... what a wonderful piece to have in a person's collection! :) Just gorgeous!!

  11. wow indeed wonderfull proces and results keep going :)

  12. Thank you my lovely friends. You made me a good day.

  13. Interesting experiments and another gorgeous journal! Love the indigo blue.
    What a beautiful view to enjoy on your lunch break!

  14. Terry,
    Thanks so much for linking with Adorned From Above Link Party. I have featured this post on tomorrow Friday Favorite Blog Links of the week.
    Go to to get your featured blogger button.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above

  15. you are a true botanical chemist - wonderful work and photos!

  16. Really nice to read up on your post. I love the blue from the indigo leaves. Wonderful research!


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