Monday, September 20, 2010

elderberry dye

We picked the elderberries in a local car park. I'd made cordial from the flowers of the same tree earlier this summer.

Consulted Violetta (this slim volume is great, out of print but available here).

Pre-mordanted silk and wool scraps into the dye bath. Note, or rather don't note the technique of the impatient dyer. You are supposed to drain out the plant material  before you put in the fabric. Result? A good half hour at the other end of the process picking bits of twig and berry out of the material. . .

Paler than I expected. A pretty colour. Can't work out if this is a good thing. Anyway. Have frozen lots more for using at workshops etc.


  1. It's a beautiful colour, but never mind cordial - elderberries make gorgeous wine! Love your blog.

  2. looks like a good colour to me....any spare feet gratefully appreciated - do let me know when you have the time. Cheers Ears.

  3. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Great to see you at the Makers Fair-
    I thought what you said about vegetable dyes and how they had altered your sense of colour was very interesting. Lovely images!

  4. wow - what beautiful tones and colours. Thank you for the follow. You obviously do such inspiring work, I don't know how you fit it all in!!


  5. Elderberry gives an incredible red violet with vinegar and no heat. Iron also creates a beautiful shade. I touched a fresh elderberry-dyed piece to an iron shepherd's crook and got a gorgeous blue. Elderberry will also turn orange rust to black.


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