Wednesday, August 11, 2010



Deb G over at Beecreative has posted the ever so beautiful result of dyeing with Elderberry leaves...a
really rich amber apricot color. i wanted some of that so ran out and got some leaves from the Mexican Elderberry
here, plopped them in the little copper pot, boiled a few minutes and added a strip of muslin.
here is the surprise...finally...a really green Green!?!
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Deb G said...

Wow! I don't have a copper pot to do this!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Grace, your dyeing is really exciting me! I have got some glass cookware and assorted bits for very small scale dyeing but will wait until our weather warms up. Hard to do actually!
I do love the pictures of your resident toad. Is she a grandmother toad, do you know?
what will this piece become? i wait with interest.

Jacky said...

Oohh I love that green! Lucky you having a copper pot. I just use an old aluminium pot. Does the pot make a difference to the colour being different metal do you think?

Yummy colour.

Jacky xox

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

Elizabeth and
i don't know if the copper made
the difference. i'll try again
today in just a canning jar and
see. did not say that after
the short boil, i put out in the
intense sun for a few hours. but,
the green was pretty immediate

Marti said...

Verde - the Spanish word for green. Verdant - lush color of grass, moss, vegetation. Verdad - Spanish word for truth. This is the truest color of nature for me, this color of Gaia, my favorite color.

Verrrrrrrrry wonderful. Want to wrap myself up in this green cloth, feel my toes in your dirt and dance around your chairs, your clothes line, your toad spa and celebrate.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

fieldlady marti...yes. we would
build a good fire tonight and
it would be a good green day.

Velma said...

nice color! have you tested for colorfastness? (i've had lots of fugitive greens, can you tell?) and wouldn't it be wonderful on velvet?

Anonymous said...

Green... my favourite colour. I love what Marti said. Very difficult to get a good green with natural dyes - well done indeed.

kaite said...

grace, if the pot was copper on the inside, and not just enamel as some of them are, that probably caused the green as copper has been used in the past as a mordant to bring out the greens. try it again with a different leaf, such as violet leaves or some other light green leaf. kaite

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

karen, it IS a good green and
interesting and very worth noting
that the same, i think, plant
that Deb G used to get the amber
apricot color that i was looking
for, here, gave this green!
Elderberry leaves..she in the NW
and me in the SW.
so much to learn ~

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

kaite ~ on the next post you can
see two results...the one on lft
is elderberry leaves steeped in
a glass canning jar. on right
the one from the copper pot. only
difference is the copper pot one
is darker by shades. not a lot
though. so it IS the elderberry
will see what comes of using the
aluminum pot.
the copper pot is just a smallish
completely copper xcept for brass
handle. also have a copper frying
pan somewhere i should find...
Thank you for your thoughts and

kaite said...

grace, using an aluminium pot is similar to using a very weak solution of alum, one of the most common mordants. i use alum most of the time, but in a glass or enamel pot which are inert. Alum is one of the safest mordants to use. It tends to bring out the yellows, golds, cremes, fawns, etc. Many years ago i was a professional dyer, i "dyed for a living". happy dyeing to you...k.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

kaite...thank you for info. i need all i can get. i checked the aluminum pot when i got home and
YES!!!! green again, but i left it
there overnight and i will try to
resist taking it out in the morning but probably not.
yes...i'd remembered from your blog
about your lifelong dyeing
it's really magic.

kaite said...

grace i've decided to enter the challenge and today went down to the creek and gathered elderberry leaves. Have boiled them up already and tomorrow will dye up 2 batches - one with just alum and the other with alum and copper. The copper will bring out more of the green esp if left to stand a day, but if there is green there then the alum/inium will also show it, only lighter. Also i looked up India's book and she says that elderberry leaves give green. Now it's just a case of how much green, you've done most of the hard work...k.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

kaite this is great...i wondered
about doubling up...copper IN
aluminum....let us know.
i will try that too today...have
copper this's and that's around..
will add to the casserole.