Saturday, June 16, 2012


Galium aperine (or cleavers, goosegrass, stickywilly, to name a few common names) is one of the more successful 'crops' at my allotment this cold wet growing season. It's pretty invasive so I was pleased to find a use for it, and it galvanised me into doing some much needed weeding.

Cleavers is a member of the Rubiaceae family, so is a relative of Madder, with the colour found in the roots. The delicate pinks remind me of the shades I produced with Sweet Woodruff (which is from the same plant family), last year. I used alum and iron mordants on silk and wool.

It was good producing a dye from a harvested plant again, and using a plant regarded as a weed reminded me of reading a great book by Richard Mabey, Weeds: The Story of Outlaw Plants: A Cultural History.

Hope you're having a peaceful weekend, I'll be back next week.

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