There are many things to astound as one hangs over a dye pot and in a curious twist of timing
a question I've been asking myself presented a sealing wax answer.
The question was, why am I spending so much time learning about natural dyeing
when I could be spending all this time on stitching and beading?
Surely there is enough dyed fabric available to use as it is ...
Let me backstory just a little to fill in some blanks ...
Our merry band of shibori stitchers here on the island has morphed a bit
into a quite smitten (still merry!) band of natural dyers and we've been meeting regularly to
dip into uncharted waters (so to speak). It's been a wild time with some raucous experimenting.
We met last week and one member brought a HUGE selection of clippings to share ...
that's her garden above, so lovely ...
in the mix was a red-leaved barberry (Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea sp.) which produced
such a yummy mauve it caused considerable swooning. Much swooning, in fact.
She was very productive that day.
What a stash!
But I digress ...
the dye pot had been so full there wasn't room for many bundles
so this generous owner of said barberry shrub offered to let us come and clip some more,
should we have the desire ~
which I sorely did.
I brought my treasure bag home and chopped up everything - leaves, stems, thorns, everything,
and put the pot on to simmer, marveling at the brilliant red color
before covering tightly to raise the heat quickly.
Inside, I wrapped my bundles and periodically stepped out onto the porch to give the brew
a stir. This took a fair bit of time ... one-burner hot plates are not the Ferrari's of the heating world.
In about an hour, I raised the lid and was engulfed in the magnificent aroma of steaming roses.
I kid you not.
It was then I knew for sure and my question finally had an answer: the mystery of plants
has long held me in its grip ... I am a
flower floozie and plantaholic from way back, a garden "ho"... does it not make complete and utter sense
that I'm now captivated by one more of their alluring properties,
their ability to dye cloth?
I see what's happened now ... I've come full circle.
Here was the barberry shrub in the garden (far right)
...and here it is on the cloth.
: : :
Resting quietly in the shade until unwrapping day, July 30th ...