I have been waiting all summer to be able to get down those few steps to my house so that I could gather some plant materials for some eco dying a la India Flint's "Stuff, Steep and Store" methods. Finally, over the weekend, I was up doing a bit of plant gathering, and with surgery just a week or so away, I wanted make haste while the sun shines so-to-speak!
For those of you who may not have heard of India Flint before she is the queen pin of all things bundle dye (my hero of natural dyes is Jenny Dean). Bundle dying is, I believe, more unique, to India.
There are many ways to learn more about Ms. Flint. Her blog, The Prophet of Bloom" is a delight:
You can find her on FaceBook at:
My first awareness of India Flint's work was thanks to my friend Janet, the knower of all things. I love India's book on bundle dyeing, named aptly enough, Eco-Color:
Her two most recent books are both self published through Blurb. The one that I used for this "canning" method of dying is from her 48 page offering entitled "Stuff, Steep and Store". It contains a lot of images as well as the salient points of this method, which is genius in its simplicity.
Her most recent Blurb book is also a short 50 pages and is described as a "... pocket guide to eco-print bundling..."
This method uses your "normal" canning tools to process your plant dyes. Here I have some cottons (pre-mordanted in soda ash) and silks (pre-mordanted in white and apple vinegars). I collected horsetail, ferns, maple leaves, peppermint, dandelions, comfrey, and blackberry leaves from the yard, and I used bits of metal added to the water. The hardest part will be seeing how long I can make it before I unlock the surprises lurking in these jars. I have some more ideas that I want to try, and am looking forward to some autumn leaves.
Here is a maple leaf peeking out already. Rich promises emerging from the murk!