Retreat to textiles.

I enjoy painting but every so often I do feel the lure and pull of textiles and I simply have to do something with them! This may include a bit of sewing or knitting and crochet or something more adventurous like my recent exploration of Natural dyes. I have been experimenting and trying to cover a fuller pallete of colours, I also have come up with an idea to use some of the beautifully coloured yarns that have resulted, and try a new technique.

Natural dyeing

Further experiments with some different dye- stuffs and mordants.

Marigold flower heads and wool.

  • Tumeric powder- Bright yellow.
  • Ivy leaves- pale greens, dark greens with copper or iron added.
  • Marigold flowers- Yellows, orange, pale green.
  • Ballart native cherry- Amazing bright greens. (my photos don't quiet capture the colour)
  • Thai black rice- mauve, grey with iron added
  • Eucalyptus-  Orange, russet,  brighter orange with Alum added, browns with iron added.
  • Wattles- Knife leafed wattle,Cootamundra wattle and Silver wattle- a range of pale yellowish greens to pale greens, Khaki greens with iron or copper added.



I feel like I have covered a range of greens, yellow, oranges and browns but have yet to achieve a good range of red, purples, mauves through to blue. I have been doing some reading about how some of the commonly used plant materials for dyes produce fugitive colours, that means they fade readily. Only time and experience will tell.  More experimenting and some research neccessary!

Stay tuned as I still have to have a play with Henna, Cochineal, Beetroot and Indigo, hopefully then I'll have a rainbow of yarns.

Rug Making

My Mum recently took part in a workshop on rug making and she showed me some of the basics so I thought I'd have a go and use my natural dyed yarns for the project. This style of rug making is called 'Hooky' but I believe it is known by many names. It is a very traditional rug making technique and can be made with yarns or with strips of rag. It is made by drawing up loops through a base cloth, in this case hessian and it creates a loop pile surface to the rug. There are dedicated tools for this, the hooks have a short shank and are quite thick. I did not have one of those so a crochet hook has served the purpose reasonably well.

I decided to start small, around doormat sized and go with a really basic design, in fact once I started I simplified it even more.( eliminating the crosses you can see marked on the hessian)

I will post some more progress photos as it grows.