Dyeing with Hawthorn

A friend of mine has some hawthorn growing at her home and generously gifted me with some branches as I pondered about its dyeing prospects. I know buckthorn to be a favourite of a lot my dyer friends, but I have yet to try it myself. More and more I try to move on to dyes I can grow and forage myself so finding new dye materials is always exciting.

I used the whole branches including leaves and flowers. As I was working with quite a bit of the branch I let them soak for few days in water and then simmered them for an hour. I left the bath for another day until I strained the liquid to add my fibre. The liquid was bright orange which was quite exciting so I added a mixture of fibres; cotton, wool and silk which all had been premordanted. Wool and silk with aluminium sulfate and the cotton pieces with aluminium acetate.


Absolutely gorgeous pink and orange shades came out of the dye bath. As a lot of branches were present in the dye bath, I assume some tannins are present. I need to experiment more and see how unmordanted fibres take the colour. I made a lake pigment of the rest of the dye liquid as I am trying preserve every bit of my dye process to expand my experiments even further.

Last weekend I went away from London for a few days and came back with a huge amount of hawthorn so more dye baths are imminent.

From left to right cotton sheeting, cotton drill, silk satin, Finn wool and raw silk dyed with hawthorn

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