Thursday, August 26, 2010

dyeing with hawberry and apple bark

naturally dyed fabrics after rinsing. hawthorne on the left, apple on right apple branches
In early June I pruned wild crab apple branches and wild hawthorne branches that grow along the side of my road. hawthorne branches

I stripped the apple leaves before chopping the branches up small and covering them with water. The hawthorne branches have such fierce thorns, I left the leaves on. The pails were left to soak for the entire summer. Last week when April was home, we processed the (very stinky) liquids. Although the books said to strip the bark before processing, this time I just went ahead and used the reddish liquid that had been released naturally from the hawthorne, the golden liquid from the apple. I simmered half of the hawberry liquid as an experiment. I added alum to some of the dye baths, vinegar to others. We used a wide variety of pre-mordanted and un-mordanted fabrics. Silk rayon velvet and wool seem to accept bark dyes the best, cotton lawn the worst.


  1. stinky liquid indeed. i am amazed sometimes. a must to work outside.

  2. Ive always been attracted to natural dyeing. I have a cabin on a wee island not to far from you (near Midland) so am watching your blog and are determined to start next year.

  3. the more results of yours i see, the more i want to keep doing this! we have a downed apple branch from last year that i think i must chop up and stew!
    the colours are wonderfully warm!


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