Friday, July 3, 2015

Natural color extraction experiment 天然色素試驗畫作

I wanted to test color extraction from natural materials. These are grey blue, purple and yellow.  
祗是三種天然物質作出的鮮明色調,  馬藍葉的灰藍與綠, 胭脂蟲的紫及姜黃粉的黃. 把馬藍葉子剪碎加石灰粉, 胭脂蟲晶體加明礬,姜黃粉加明礬, 各樣都要用溫水稀爛做出顏色塗上布料上, 在鍋上煮25分鐘, 數天後浸醋水定色, 雖然這不是最正確提取布畫顏料的方法, 但不防可作天然染料的來源.

 All from Strobilantes for grey blue, Cochineal for purple and yellow from Turmeric
 I chopped a few Strobilantes (馬藍葉) leaves. Poured 3 spoons of warm water, after a few hours fermentation then added little lime. Stirred to get oxygen to make the grey blue.
 Pink is from crushed Cochineal,  mixed with hot water and little alum.
 Yellow is from Turmeric mixed with hot water and alum.
 Here are the clear images of the color sources..... Green leaves of Strobilantes.
Crystal of Cochinel before crushed
 Turmeric powder
 After a few hours fermentation the indigo is getting blue, the Cochineal becomes purple immediately with warm water
 I used a brush to dip some indigo extraction for the mountain on the silk fabric.....
 from Cochineal extraction to brush the purple lavender field....
 After a few brushes of grey blue from indigo, I wiped with the fresh Strobilantes for the green,  
 Mogi doesn't like much the outcome
 Two days later I tested the colorfast by soaking into water.  Too came out. So I colored again and bundled to steam for 25 minutes to fix the color.
 Washed and no breeding but Mogi seems do not approve it.
 Now  I know when heated the colors are fixed.

So I painted with cochinael for flowers and indigo for stems on the same fabric.
               After steamed for a while color fixed.  Know this is not a proper way to color silk but no harm for the trial with all natural colors.
A few days later I soaked the fabric in vinegar water to further fix the color.  It works.
 Talking about Strobilantes, it's strange ........ When I wrapped the frozen leaves on the fabric it's breeding with grey blue in room temperature.........
 But...... after heated it becomes purple / pink.   It's fun to play with natural color from plants. I will do some more experiments with this sort of leaves.


  1. Looks like a field of lavender - a great success!

  2. Thanks for sharing.


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