I made up a yellow pot, yesterday to get a subtle, mottled cloud look. I started with some crown vetch (CV)…that large pink-clover that’s used to stop erosion on a hill. CV grows fast and provides quick coverage. Once planted, it’s almost impossible to get out of the garden. I know gardeners who reserve special swear words for this pushy plant 🙂 I used a piece of cotton that had been treated with aluminum acetate then crumpled in a ball and tied with twine.
I put it in the pot of CV that I had heated in water. After a bit, I noticed that the fabric was gold on one side only. I turned it in the pot, and left it in the dye liquor, hoping to get more color. But, no, after more minutes, there was LESS color.
Dye lesson relearned. Heating hotter and heating longer won’t add color. I assume that there’s a fragility to the natural dye–a botanist/chemist would have the real answer. I think that the sugars giving the color are lost with too much heat.
So, then I added some white ash leaves to the dye liquor and heated them. I tested the white ash “fruit” and found that there was no available color. So, I just added leaves to the dye pot. Usually this gives a deep gold/yellow. I put my fabric into the pot and got very little added color.
I remember one time, later in the summer when I used white ash leaves and the color was very strong. Might be that it’s too early???
So, next, I gathered some Queen Anne’s Lace (QAL). Just a small amount, heated (lightly) in a small pot. I crammed in my two bundles of fabric. At last, success, I got the color that I wanted. QAL gives a bright yellow.
Too funny…backyard yellow is the most common color in MY backyard and yesterday, I had to work hard to get it!