Sunday, 4 April 2010

Eco Dyes and Egg Decorations

This week end I have really been doing the Easter thing for my little girl. We hid chocolate all around the house for her to find. We then went on an Easter Egg hunt at the Botanical Gardens, did face painting and made an Easter Bonnet.

When we returned, my little girl helped me wrap eggs in flowers, herbs and onion skins to Dye Latvian style as explained by India Flint in her book Eco Colour.

An egg about to be wrapped in skins, petals, leaves and silk

My egg bundles simmering away

Dyed hard boiled eggs rubbed with a little butter


I have also done a lot of natural dyeing this weekend. I brought a huge bag of seaweed back with me from Wales. I have been boiling and simmering wool in seaweed dye for 2 full days. The smell is not for the faint hearted :)

The first of the three pictures shows some merino after simmering for around 10 hours and then being left to rest in the excess dye solution overnight. The third picture shows the other half of the wool batch after a further 10 hours simmering. It is difficult to see in these pictures but the second batch is slightly darker by maybe 2-3 shades.

The iodine in the seaweed has produced a very nice pale amber colour.

I did not use any mordant as was unsure which one to use.

I think I will have to make some felt with this wool and experiment with starch. Traditionally, starch and iodine combined will produce a blue black colour but I don't know if this principle will still apply after the iodine has been through the dye pot process. I will have fun finding out though :)

We have had wonderful sunshine today. It has been very energising.

I hope you have all had a good week end xJ

29 comments:

ArtSparker said...

The eggs look as if you could scry in them...strange images.

Jasmine said...

I like the thought of predicting the future with eggs :)

Jules said...

Very interesting seeing you prepare the fleeces Jasmine. Your eggs brought back happy memories, my mum always used to dye our Easter breakfast eggs with onion skins, and she would paint the others with food colourings. I thought they always tasted much nicer than any other eggs! I'm glad you've had such a productive time, and lots of fun with your daughter too. Enjoy the rest of the Easter break!

Ladka said...

Your eggs look lovely and the colour is different from the one I got. I was also meditating on making my Easter eggs the Latvian / India Flint way this year but then decided on our national way - boiling the onion skins to obtain a dyeing solution and then simmering the eggs wrapped with flowers, together with the skins in the water. It seems a strong and even colour is more appreciated than variegations in my country.
I also separated skins from red and yellow onions and was surprised last year already there was almost no difference on the eggs whereas on wool it is distinct. Also, I only had little yellow onion skins but they gave a colour almost as strong (intense) as the red skins which I had plenty. Who would understand this chemistry on egg shell (limestone?).
I've saved both dyebaths for use on wool yarn, of course.

Jasmine said...

Jules - Yhank you. i hope you have ben having lots of fun too xJ

Ladka - Your eggs are the clearest shape and deepest colour I have seen posted this week end. Wonderful. I think I will try your method too. I have yet to try dyeing wool with onion but it is next on my list. I have been saving skins since Christmas, and did not think i had enough,but after todays egg dyeing i think The skins stretch quite far.

Thank you for the tips xxJ

Titus said...

Lovely Jasmine. We use onion skins but haven't wrapped them before - we'll try that tomorrow.
Impressed at your seaweed endeavours!

Joei Rhode Island said...

So happy your Nan made it home from the hospital and you could enjoy Easter with your daughter without worrying. I've not tried this method of dyeing eggs...but love the results. Looks like lots of nice wool to felt.

Martine said...

Jasmine i can almost feel your happiness enjoying easter with your little girl. Your eggs look so lovely and i find it exiting, India's Latvian eggs going around the world.
XXXm

BluMoon said...

I used to dye a lot of my mohair when I was bear making,it was great fun but I have never dyed eggs, how interesting it looks! The weather here has been lovely and sunny too with just a sharp chill wind.

Assayya said...

you are using seaweed for dyeing, i give dried seaweed to my horses.
seaweed is good for the skin of the horses:))
i love the red eggs:))

Healing Woman said...

I have never used this method for dying eggs before. The entire post was extremely informative and interesting.

Thank you!

Needle Woven Studio said...

Jasmine ~ your images of the egg dyeing process are just beautiful - thanks for the link to India Flint's site- also, how cool to dye the wool with gathered seaweed, I can almost of imagine the smell ~¡~
Especially, Happy Easter to you and yours.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

We did the 'India F' eggs this weekend, too. Such a satisfying process!
-J

Fiona said...

What a lovely colour your eggs turned out. And the pic of all the ingredients before you dyed them is really lovely. It would make a great easter card. No sun today here.

Sandra said...

Jasmine, you've given your little one a lovely Easter she will always cherish.
I love your eggs, they're nice to make, aren't they. And using seaweed to dye your wool, I love the sea!

dorie said...

Hi Jasmine, hope you had lots of fun with making those eggs. I like the patterns on them - I had wrapped some with a tiny piece of wire. And some small rose leaves gave a green print.
It is so satisfied to do this with your daughter. Mines are grow too old I think, they like to see but not to make it.

Karin Bartimole said...

Those eggs are gorgeous Jasmine! I look forward to seeing what your experiments with the starch and iodine produce. Really love all your eco dying processes! xox K

Carol Anne Strange said...

Magical greetings, Jasmine. Lovely to read your post. It looks like you've been busy and creatively so. Bright wishes. xx

ruthie said...

jasmine, the eggs look wonderful, love the colour. My eggs are still sitting "naked", i ran out of time, but shall have to do them now. I used to love spending time with my wee ones painting & rolling their eggs. thanks for bringing back happy memories x

Tammie Lee said...

your Easter events sound wonderful. Special time that your daughter will surely remember. Fun to see the wool hanging. I remember when I was young and my mother dyed wool and fabrics. Onion skins, see weeds, lichens... indigo (beetle bodies).

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Those eggs are georgous! I love how you did it with the petals and skins and stuff! Very cool:)

Does it flavor the eggs at all?

Brian Miller said...

those eggs are so cool. happy belated easter.

Janine said...

The eggs came out beautifully Jasmine! Can't wait to see what you do with the wool!

Chatters said...

Great informative post. Natural dying is something I want to try again. Those eggs are gorgeous

Short Poems said...

Those eggs are so cool,enjoy this beautiful spring time:D

Marinela x

parisa mahmoudi said...

I never saw that kind of egg coloring!!!That is so beautiful!
Thanks about it dear Jasmine and I really eager to see the lovely stuff by that wool.
Love
Parisa

GreenWhisper said...

the eggs look tastey :)
great post it invoked memories of childhood when my grandmother used to dye loads of eggs with onion skins xx

Delwyn said...

Happy Easter just passed jasmine

Your eggs are the nicest I have ever seen...and the smell of the wool I can imagine very well coming from a sheep farming town in New Zealand before living here in Au.

Happy days

Crafty Green Poet said...

wow, those eggs are very beautiful!