Sunday, October 17, 2010

Onion Skins and Pokeberries

Glad I experienced dyeing with pokeberries, but never again. what a mess.....the color of the fabric after the bundles were undone was fabulous but after drying, ironing and washing, much of the vibrant color was gone. The onion skins, on the other hand turned out well. I put some vinegar in the water with the onion skins and added the fabric. All that simmered for about an hour and was left in the pot overnight. The silk turned out the best---it always does. Wish I had added some wool, but I forgot. Will definitely do the onion skins again. Here are some photos of before and after.
If anyone has had experience with dyeing with pokeberries, I'd love to hear about it.


Pokeberries, bundles, fabric simmering in onion skins

Before and After washing

17 comments:

Debi From the Pacific Northwest said...

NICE! I really love the beautiful Autumn golds and browns of the onion skins.

;~) Debi

kaite said...

Lovely colours but i have heard that pokeberries are fugitive, tho i haven't had the opportunity to use them.
I'm now simmering, or not even getting to a simmer, for only about 20 minutes and then leaving them in the pot for a couple of days. The colour seems much better for me. k.

Martine said...

Cannot find a translation for pokeberries so i dont know.
Wish i could because i allways like to try.
XXXm

Jacky said...

I'd love to try pokeberries too...I dont know that we have them in Australia though???
The colour certainly was vibrant before washing, but I really love the paler end result. Be beautiful in your cloth work.
I love the onion dyeing...ever reliable and gives a great earthy colour.

Jacky xox

Sharon said...

The gold "after" is my favorite. Yummy to look at.

deanna7trees said...

if you are interested in trying to dye with pokeberries or pokeweed, the technical name for the american variety is 'Phytolacca americana'. lots of info and pictures on google. it does have other names that might be used in other countries.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

deanna, i like very much the
After pokeberry.
i just had the same experience
with black hollyhock. the color
was INTENSE but then, trying to
be more conscientious, i washed it
and it is now pale and a color i
don't even know what to call....
but i find this all the more
interesting, somehow.
question: if you had intended to
use the cloths only for something
that would not be washed, would you
skip the washing and just use the
Before color????
xo

deanna7trees said...

grace,
besides the fact that the cloth had a terrible odor, i would be afraid that any drop of water would make the color run into other fabrics. the wash water was bright red.

Notjustnat said...

They all look great from here. I haven't dyed for awhile now. Only love the indigo dyeing so will keep with that for a bit longer. I thought the indigo thread would go well with the onion dyed piece - Enjoy Nat

deanna7trees said...

thanks, Nat. your indigo dyed thread will be beautiful with all the pieces i plan to use in my moon quilt. working on the plans for it right now.

ger said...

Wonderful yellows + golds, yes - + what remains from the red looks rather elegant, too, after a bit of disappointment... - with the chokeberries I used (lot of xx-okeberries out there, obviously, of which I´ve never heard before - are they similar?) it looked like a good idea to freeze them before the dyeing - I did it because I didn´t want them to waste + later saw that India recommends that for berries...

Tammie said...

this is my first time to your blog, and I love seeing what you are enjoying. Dying is an art, eh! I don't have much experience at all, but I do remember helping my mother a number of times, seaweed, moss, lichen, onion skins.

It is wonderful to see your photos and hear about your results.

deanna7trees said...

thanks, ger. don't think the pokeberries are related to the chokeberries. i do have india's book but haven't had time to read much of it yet. freezing sounds like a good idea.

Moonsilk Stitches said...

I've done a lot of onion skin dyeing. I love the many colors, esp. for skin tones. Add alum for some zing--my linen fabric and cotton thread came out chrome yellow--very bright and quite a change from what you get with vinegar!

Morna Crites-Moore ~Wicked Waif ~ said...

Looks fabulous. I really want to try some dying. I bought India's book when it first was published - wasn't even available in USA - had to order from Australia and postage was a horror - but I have yet to act on it! Though I do love looking at it. :-)

karen said...

you have some beautiful cloth here Deanna. I can't pick a favourite, they are all so luscious.

twhIch aye said...

beautiful colors. i really love the feel of the fabric after dyeing. i haven't dyed fabric with berries yet, only spices and teas. i use alum too.

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