Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Natural cold dyes 天然冷製染料

I got the good price of cotton gauze and keen to try natural dyes on it without hesitation. The blue-grey was dyed from indigo while the pink-purple from cochinael.
I was asked to recommend reference books for my natural prints.  There're many experts doing great but my answer to my works is my "brain".  It's joking but truely I appreciate very much other experts but I can't follow well because of local condition, such as water, soil, air, plants, weather...... all depends, that's very regionalism.  So I can only recall my own experiments and explore any possibilities.
This blue-grey from kind of indigo, the plant is Strobilantes ( 馬藍) from my yard.  I only used the simply way to get the pigments.  Know this may not be the proper way but it works for me.
I chopped the leaves,  soaked in a jar with warm water for two days, mixed with little lime and pour into a container for a few times to get oxygen for darker blue-grey.   Then soaked the cotton gauze for a few minutes. 
The shades of colors due to the amount of soaking time . The bolder the first time.
I wanted purple from cochinael
So I dipped into the dyes
This is how I made the cold cochinael.  I grated a little cochinael and mixed with alum and water, as well a little vinegar.  Let it sit for a couple of hours.

So I dyed a few yards of cotton gauze with indigo and cochinael in cold way.

The fabric is sitting for 3 weeks for color fixing then I'll do nuno felt fashion with it on my return from the workshop organised by Fibrefusing in the Netherlands led by the Russian designer Tatiana Sheverda.


  1. its wonderful that you follow your own instincts for selecting dye pigment, nature provides beautiful colors ,,it looks wonderful,,,

    1. Thanks Laurie. Doing natural prints is unique, never have the same second one. Even I taught in other place, outcome is different. So it is a kind of own DIY.

  2. ..have a wonderful time with Tatania (she and I have the same birthday but opposite personalities!!) it should be a wonderful visit to the NL with the pink box.. I look forward to seeing what you do next with this nice cotton gauze. i haven't felted with it for a while, but have had good and enjoyable results when i did. And I love your colors.. Hugs

    1. Ginny, I'm already thrilled for the workshop, to meet old and new friends and learn the new techniques. Will keep you posted my travels. Thanks for following though.

  3. Lovely. A new range of colours, too!

  4. Terriea, you will have a lovely time with Dorie, doing a workshop in her atelier. And she serves lovely lunches ;-)

  5. I'm delighted to meet Dorie whom I visited last Sept. Her huge studio is impressive. Sounds you're from the Netherlands too. I just browsed your blog and found your artistic creation. I'll come back for a detail reading shortly.


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