winter dye adventures, part 3, weird science

17 Feb

Well, mixed results! Surprising results. Chemistry is very obviously at play here, in the purest sense of the word. Playing with me: blues and purples from the privet berries showing in the pot, dark greys and deep greens when they come out and are still wet, drying to shades of celadon, ghosted sea blue, odd mixes with tansy and madder (all on silk hab), wonderful jades in the threads (silk and wool), brilliant with soda ash modifier. Iron didn’t do much at all, not saddening or shifting shade deeper.

Leaves and stalks(twigs/fine branches) hardly worth it, a really pale yellow on the threads,which surprised me, because they are usually the more reliable dye source.  I threw those into the berry pot too, as they are so wishy-washy as to be pointless.

Berries? Sort of a greeny grey green, like faded Celadon (?). ImPOSSible to photograph, so here, like this:



Updated as i write this post: my expensive DSLR camera could not capture the colours, no matter what i did in terms of lighting conditions, but the cheap camera on the cellphone worked. More weird science, go figure.


BUT, will they be lightfast?

Regardless of all this, i probably won’t be dyeing with privet again. It’s toxic, it’s expensive and it has to be imported, even if the importing is from BC 🙂 Still, it was a nice little interlude, and learning experience in the wintery season of Calgary! And after a couple of weeks, if they don’t fade, they will be added to the thread and scrap arsenal.

Now back to the monumental stitching.


Posted by on February 17, 2017 in Dyeing, Ecoprints and Natural Dyes, privet


5 responses to “winter dye adventures, part 3, weird science

  1. Mo Crow

    February 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

    privet is a noxious weed here in the Land Down Under, the birds spread the seeds throughout the bush & the flowers have a dusty perfume that makes me gag!


    • arlee

      February 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

      I remember picking the flowers in BC when we lived on Vancouver Island, little smell, but maybe a varietal difference. Never saw the berries!


      • Mo Crow

        February 19, 2017 at 11:45 am

        both the large leafed and small leafed privet are awful plants here, the warm climate combined with the needs of colonial settlers in an attempt to to make Australia look like England. I look after a very old privet hedge in the front garden of a tiny Victorian cottage for one of our customers but it is not allowed to flower or make any berries.


  2. threadpaintersart

    February 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    oh, I hope you have luck and these colours are colourfast … they are beautiful !


    • arlee

      February 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Hoofies crossed! They’ll sit near the south facing window of the stoodio for a couple of weeks as testing ground.



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