I collected this bark from 2 trees; Eucalyptus Viminalis, Manna Gum, and Eucalyptus Archeri, Alpine cider gum (Tasmania) in Hillier Arboretum, Hampshire, UK.
The bark falls off the trees ready for easy collection.
Break up bark and leave to soak for a day or overnight. I added 3 leaves to ensure a colour result (as dye instruction books use leaves for strong result). I heated to boil, then simmered for 1hr to 1hr 30mins. Remove bark and put silk in pot. (I pre-mordanted the silk by soaking in water with alum in a bowl overnight; although not necessary with Eucalyptus). It wasn’t necessary to reboil and simmer the silk in the pan as it took up the dye well immediately, and quickly grew darker. After about an hour of soaking, frequently moving around, I heated it for about 10 mins and again left it to cool soaking.
Silk absorbs bark dye very well, and quickly. I left it in cold dye bath for 1 hr then simmered the pot for 10 mins.
Lace fabric on fist placing in dye bath (content unknown; likely cotton/polyester mix.)
It rapidly takes up the dye, although it was not pre-mordanted, like the silk was.
Final colour is a rich gold: silk looks very bright in sunlight; a deeper old gold tone indoors.
Adding rusty water (iron) deepens the colour of silk and lace in two more samples.
To follow up… a new garment using both silk samples with silk painting is in the making. Colour combinations of blues with deep gold highlights, picking out colours in the prints.
Seed designs steamed into dyed silk. A new discharge paste brushed on to the seed head areas did not work on the natural eucalyptus bark dye! To be re painted with contrasts.
Large poppy seed heads: (discharge paste did not work to bleach the eucalyptus dye from those areas). Test piece for general design idea, to be repainted with darker seed heads.
Practice piece painting over eucalyptus dyed silk. Discharge (bleaching paste) did not work through eucalyptus dye – interesting! Seed heads to be repainted darker, for contrast.
Outlines are drawn with acid dye into gutta resist (blue lines). Background texture in maroon are created with collagraph printing:- Seeds flattened and glued to cardboard, then used as a print stamp underneath silk, pressed from upper surface. (Details to be added)