Saturday, October 19, 2013

shades of late-summer berries... testing...

Dye News update

I did some test dyeing with late summer berries

pokeweed berries - brambles and elderberries

after fermentation of the berries I've put some lace merino for one day in the glass jars
I only used an acid dye-vat (with vinegar)

here's the final result:

dyed with elderberries (dark old rose)- onion skin (fantastic orange)- poke weed (purple)- brambles (pink)

I love these colours, they look great together !
what do you think? 

lace merino dyed with poke weed
not washed yet

the same yarn - after it was washed and placed in full daylight for one week, but no sunlight

I'm quite happy with the results !


We went on a autumn walk and we saw this cute little goat 



  1. That's a lovely set of colours and it looks like fun to do. We don't seem to have pokeweed here of maybe it has another name but we have the other plants. (Also we have goats but they look different from your friend.) It will be interesting to see how the pokeweed looks after a year or so. I believe in America they used to re-dye articles of clothing every year to brighten the pokeweed colour up again.

  2. Wonderfoll colours and wonderfoll inspiration. The berries and the onion give colours which are not so easy to get with plants which grow here. Next year I will do some fermantation experiments, too.

    Fermentation seems to be a very archaic kind of dyeing and has a very special charm.

    Thanks very much to show it!

    How long did the fermentation last in the glas jars?

  3. Blodeuedd, that's one of the reasons why I made this pokeweed colour test, to see how it looks after a while :)
    wikipedia says it's native to North America, South America, East Asia and New Zealand :)
    RosendameGallica, yes, this dyeing techinque is a old one and I love it exactly because of the undeniable charm :)
    In fact it is to be compared with the ways dyers use Indigo and woad (Isatis_tinctoria) , these plants can only give their blue colour with the use of a fermentation vat, which can last for years if you keep adding new materials.
    The fermentation of every plant you use can last for a long time if you keep it closed in plastic bottles and add some new plantmaterial, I've explained it here:
    But because I've used vinegar instead of lemon juice I don't think it will last long, but I'm testing that also.

  4. Oh, those colours are beautiful. I really must do some of this one day! Do you find these colours fade with time?

    1. Janice, my experience is that the colours don't fade easily with this method, at least no more than with other dye techniques, that includes dyeing with synthetic colours which will fade with time also :)

  5. Woot! Look at those colours! Absolutely gorgeous. Pokeweed is one of my favourite dye plants. I think that you will find that the fastness of it will be ok since you did the vat in vinegar. The acidity is what makes poke bind. I did a lot of dyeing with pokeberries last year and found that the most lightfast of the bunch was the wool that was cold dyed (no heat) in straight poke/vinegar. I left mine in for 9 days or so, out of the sun, and the yarn came out royal purple and still is that colour now. I've been pouring over your posts about the acid/alkaline fermentation dyeing for some time and cannot wait to try it this spring. Thank you for sharing all that information. It is very exciting.