Since my previous attempts I have come across a book called ‘Eco colour’ by an Australian artist called India Flint that comprehensively covers the whole topic of using natural materials to dye fabrics. I read it from cover to cover to hopefully gain a better understanding of the process and the chemistry involved. The material she has studied most comprehensively is Eucalyptus, but does use allsorts of other materials too. I will be using willow for my pieces. I have collected roots leaves and small stems from my living willow sculptures- Top Hat and 3 circles. I shall use a selection of these on linen and silk. I will use tea as a mordant. There is an element of adaptation of Flints techniques in what I am doing. Obviously the climate in the UK is very different to Australia. So where using the solar dyeing process where the sun provides the energy to heat the bundle and aid the transfer of colour, I have made bundles that I have rested on the top of a radiator, so they periodically are heated through. I hoping this will mimic the action of the sun. These I will leave for several months to do their work.
Flint, India (2008) Eco colour-botanical dyes for beautiful fabrics. Murdock Books Australia.