Dyeing silk and lace with Eucalyptus bark

Eucalyptus top of tree - IMG_20180808_165031 - 004 cropped annotated

I collected this bark from 2 trees; Eucalyptus Viminalis, Manna Gum, and Eucalyptus Archeri, Alpine cider gum (Tasmania) in Hillier Arboretum, Hampshire, UK.

Eucalyptus treebark peeling - IMG_20180808_164951 - 004 cropped edited annotated

The bark falls off the trees ready for easy collection.

Eucalyptus shedded bark ground- IMG_20180808_165249 - 004 - edited annotated

Eucalyptus bark, 3 leaves, dye pot starter - box bark - IMG_2018-09-10 17.56.05 - 003 - edited annotated

Dye pot eucalyptus bark and 3 leaves soaking - IMG_2018-09-10 17.56.12 - 003 - edited annotated
Eucalyptus bark soaking in dye pan.

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.

Dye pot silk dyed eucalyptus bark - IMG_2018-09-11 09.51.05 - 002 - edited annotated
Silk rapidly absorbs bark dye

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.

Mixed fibre lace first imersion in dye bath - IMG_2018-09-11 14.35.17 - 002 - edited annotated
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.

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.

Dye pot Eucalyptus bark, lace dyed - IMG_2018-09-11 14.34.39 - 003 - edited annotated
Lace fabric having taken up the dye after an hour or so simmering
Silk dyed eucalyptus bark, rinsed - IMG_ 2018-09-11 11.12.35 - 002 edited annotated
Washing out dyed silk, to remove excess dye.

Final colour is a rich gold: silk looks very bright in sunlight; a deeper old gold tone indoors.

Eucalyptus bark with gold silk after dyeing - IMG_2018-09-11 14.05.46. - 003 edited annotated
Silk dyed with bark, rinsed and dried.

Eucalyptus bark pot, mixed fibvre lace and silk, iron modified - IMG_2018-09-11 16.15.55 - 002 edited annotated

Adding rusty water (iron) deepens the colour of silk and lace in two more samples.

Silk dyed Eucalyptus, with geranium, right side modified iron 002 - edited - annotated - IMG_2018-09-11 17.20.53
Second silk sample modified after dying with rust water.
Lace dyed with Eucalyptus bark IMG_2018-09-12 11.27.23
Mixed fibre lace fabric dyed with eucalyptus dye pot, after the silk.  Top grey-brown was modified after dyeing, with iron using rusty water from rusty nails. 

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.

Charity fabrics, blues + Eucalyptus dyed gold - 002 - IMG_2018-09-11 17.41.16
Charity shop clothes – chosen colour combination with ‘Eucalyptus bark’ dyed gold silk
The design will be for a jacket, with the added lace pieces; also dyed with the eucalyptus bark
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