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Having read India Flint’s wonderful book on eco colour and printing, I discovered that you can get some beautiful natural dyes using Eucalyptus leaves. So during a recent holiday in Corfu, I gathered a bag full of Eucalyptus leaves from the trees that were growing along the roadsides and thought I would give it a try.
The leaves had dried out by the time I started this project. So I sprayed them with a bit of water to moisten them. Then I layed the leaves out onto one side of a silk scarf that I had dampened with water.
When I had spread out all the Eucalyptus leaves, I turned the scarf over to cover the leaves.
I then rolled the scarf around a cardboard tube.
I tightly wrapped the dye package with linen yarn so that all of the bundle was covered.
I then placed the silk scarf dye package into a dyepot and let it simmer for a few hours – no mordant was used. Then I turned the heat off and put a lid onto the pot.
It can take several days for all of the colour to disperse from the Eucalyptus leaves and to imprint onto the silk fabric.
I let this dyepot sit untouched for about 3 weeks. The dypeot will get a bit smelly as the dye ferments, so it is best to leave it outside while the dye matures.
The Eucalyptus dye project looks very hopeful as I begin to unwrap the scarf. The linen yarn that I wrapped the dye package with has a nice colour.
It worked! I am quite happy with the result 🙂
There is still quite a bit of dye colour in the dyebath, so I think I will try to reuse the dyebath and dye something else.
Natural Dye Books
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles