Autumn Maple Leaves

My friend Judy is a very talented artist and among many other feats, dyes with mud and various material in leaf bundles.  Check out her wonderful work.  She wrote that she was bundling autumn leaves and getting “luscious purple and blacks.”  So, I  had to try it!

The result surprised me.  I picked some turning maples leaves…thank you to my lovely neighbor for letting me trim an errant branch!!  (It was dark-thirty when I walk my dog, Happy!)  Lovely red leaves…is it too much to expect that they would give that elusive red??

Red maple leaves, dye “liquor” and fabric sample

I almost-boiled the maple leaves and then added my treated cellulose fabric sample.  The dye liquor is a lovely burgundy/brown color.  At first, the fabric took on a greenish celadon tone–like some flowers, including iron weed.

It was the week-end and I got busy, so, the fabric stayed in the pot.  It’s getting darker.  Not the lovely red I dream of, but an interesting shade.  A bit celadon, a bit brown.  My gut says that it’s metallic and reflects its’ dirt!  Interesting enough for a bigger pot!

And, if you’re on Maiwa’s list, you got an invitation to attend a presentation of a documentary on indigo.  Lucky folks in the Vancouver area.  For the rest of us, check out the link — the trailer is a wonderful introduction!!  The movie is a fascinating introduction to the development of indigo around the world–and I’m only a third in!!

A sumac report…my seedlings are doing well.  I have sixteen now!!





6 thoughts on “Autumn Maple Leaves

      • Wow!

        Thanks! Any idea of the light/wash fastness of this dye?
        I’m just in the process of testing some of my results for the wash fastness. So much hope they will prove alright. Fingers crossed.

        Looking forward to see the pictures!


      • Preprocessing cellulose with tannin (like oak or sumac) gives light fastness. I’m finding that my natural dyed items are light and dark fast…but like any dye, even commercial…they can fade. All the better to re-dye!!

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