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.

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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.

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

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