(Silk/Hemp Peridot Dress)
This year has been a difficult one, sad for many reasons, so I felt very grateful to be blessed with the happy news that we are expecting our second baby in April next year.
The last few months I was forced to slow everything down almost to a standstill and think hard about how to manage this next big life changing arrival, two businesses, a four year old and the rest of the things that need to be done every day.
I had the unpleasantly painful experience of sitting my law exams six months pregnant (thanks to one dodgy, recalcitrant hip) previously. I was expecting to run into trouble again but not so soon, already I am finding it difficult to sit for long periods of time, so sewing garments in particular (apart from the occasional item) is going to be off the work agenda for the time being.
Instead (hopefully in the coming weeks) I will be starting to list fabric lengths (by the metre). A mix of hand dyed and hand painted. The standard length will be two metres but I am more than happy to dye custom lengths. Mostly silk and silk blends but also some fabric weights and compositions suitable for quilting or upholstery. I expect that the going is probably going to be slow, I sincerely apologise if you are waiting on me to reply to an email or get back to you about an item, I am not usually so tardy!
One thing, one day at a time as they say, onwards and upwards…
Link on the right over there —>
Article in Broadsheet today about the Welcome Spring Sale. Almost ready!
I’ll have some special one offs and limited editions at the Pop&Scott Spring Sale, it’ll be heaps of fun, outrageously inspiring and very beautiful, if you haven’t been to the workshop come on down and check it out.
Isatis Tinctoria (my favourite of the Latin names).
New branding. Naturally dyed silk labels and hand painted swing tags, tag shown is painted using Rose, Cochineal, Lac and Cutch, each one is a tiny artwork. Anthemis silk/hemp shell top.
Silk dyed with Comfrey Leaf.
Silk. Handpainted and over dyed with pomegranate.
It might be evident that I like to dye with roses, I took some photos a little while ago when I had some roses and amaranth at hand (thanks Pop!) The roses were your regular florist bought hot house variety. As was the Amaranth. Amaranth plant not to be confused with the synthetic red azo dye!
Image Credit: Victorian Native Seed an absolutely beautiful site where you can buy Native Indigo seed online.
It is not widely known that we have our own native source of indigo which grows commonly in many states of Australia. I’m lucky to live in an area where it grows everywhere! I also have several plants in my garden, I love it because as well as being very pretty, it grows under the eucalypts when not much else will. I’ve found it doesn’t like to get too dry or hot, it also doesn’t like husbands with errant whipper snippers (or errant husbands with whipper snippers).
But of course it isn’t just a pretty face, you can also dye with it!
Used conventionally it will impart a variety of bright yellows. I’ve also achieved a fast red by altering the pH of the vat.
Used in the same way as the more common Indigofera Tinctoria, Isatis Tinctoria (Woad) or Persicaria Tinctoria (Japanese Indigo) in a chemical reduction or fermentation vat (or the vinegar cold process) you will of course achieve the famous (and very popular right now) blue!
Precipitating the pigment
Silk dyed with Indigofera Australis
I’ve read some reports that Indigofera Australis is sometimes weak or unreliable. But this is true of many natural dyes. I haven’t had any trouble with it, I find Woad more problematic. I have been surprised at the depth of colour I’ve achieved from even a handful of leaves. It’s my favourite indigo to use, as you can see above it gives varied tones of blue. An unexpected discovery after opening a forgotten jar of leaves left fermenting in water was that they smelt quite pleasant, unlike many of my other long lost fermenting things! And the blue hue of the fermented leaves is always beautiful, almost magical. As I proselytise to class participants at the workshop, I don’t understand why it isn’t more commonly used. It’s certainly cheaper than imported indigo and better for the environment. The seeds collected from the pods which set after flowering germinate readily. It can be easily found in most good nurseries, particularly those specialising in natives.