6 months on….

solar dyeing-willow leaves and willow roots.

solar dyeing-willow leaves and willow roots.

I can’t believe I have managed to leave these for so long. The intention being that the more time would allow for more colour to come out of the materials and greater definition of the remaining marks. I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I followed instructions from India Flint’s book, as I described in my previous post in August when I prepared the jars. In each of them I had placed a piece of linen and a piece of calico. One had a collection of willow leaves and the other willow roots. I have watched them over time curious about what was happening inside, and puzzled by the apparently clear fluid in the jar containing leaves.

So, it wasn’t a total surprise to find that there were virtually no marks on either piece of fabric from the leaves. What I did find puzzling was how the leaves seemed almost unchanged, almost as if the process had preserved them- not what I was expecting.

solar dyeing- willow roots and linen

solar dyeing- willow roots and linen

The jar containing willow roots, however, was more productive producing a plumy pink colour. With a post-mordant of vinegar and drying out these colours have changed to various tones of brown. It was quite interesting, perhaps not wholly unsurprising, to find that the linen sample had started to rot and disintegrate, though it has some marking from the roots.


The bundle containing weeping willow leaves with linen had started to achieve some orangey toned marks. Some interesting marks with colour potential, but only in a couple of areas- outsides and on creases. I think the weeping willows might have more potential if they were steamed.

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