E.N.D. of the World - Sunshine Petals

E.N.D. of the World - Sunshine Petals

E.N.D. of the World, or "Exploring Natural Dyes" of the World, is a series about experimenting with local, natural substances and creating new dye recipes!


My mom is away for the week so I am taking advantage of this time to boil lots of random things on the stove. For the love of nature and textiles amirite???

I am looking to make a tangerine colour today. A bright and happy orange that is a pastel, yet still vibrant.

I have never worked with natural dyes to create yellows or orange before and I am very excited to see how it turns out! Fig and I went scavenging for yellow and orange flowers all afternoon to turn my vision into a reality. I filled a 'stella' tote bag (for lack of a better measuring tool) full of marigolds and dandelions. The sunflowers were bought by my mom at the UBC Farmer's Market last Saturday.

Remove any stems and non yellow or orange flower bits. Same for a green batch of dye or compost them :)

Double, double 'boil' and trouble;

After boiling my petals for 5 hours they are a bright bright bright vivid yellow. I have added a little bit of dried turmeric too.

The colour is more yellow than I wanted, but thankfully I have lye on hand. Fabric dyed with turmeric that gets dipped in diluted lye water turns vivid shades of orange depending on the concentration of lye!

In the midst of this diary post, I decided to renovate the rest of my basement into more art room space. My dye got put aside for 2 days in the process. (Just extra time for the dye to get more powerful, helllll ya!!!!)

But back to this deliciously neon yellow dye that I have created. After doing a few different tests of dyeing scraps of fabric in the dye, I was not happy with the colour. Today on my walk, I collected a bunch of golden coloured maple leaves (also WOAH is it fall or something?); I am hoping by adding these to my dye they will mute the yellow colour and turn it a bit warmer and more orangey. I have also added about 4 cups more of water and white vinegar.

This is the 100% cotton rib that I boiled on the now strained dye concoction for 1 hour. It is half submerged in diluted lye water to show just HOW MUCH the colour changes with the lye!
After the lye dip I put it into the my clothing dryer and then into the wash.

Look at this gorgeous colour!!! As with natural dyes the final effect is usually way more pastel than it looks while dyeing it. I only dyed about a meter and a half of fabric with the dye I made, but I can't wait to sew it into something :)




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