Click to enter Studio Club Members Area

You’ve viewed

You haven't yet viewed any products on our store. If you've been here before, you may need to sign in.

Journal

Dyeing with Hopi sunflower seeds (Tceqa' Qu' Si)

Linen dyed with hopi sunflower seeds

Sunflowers of all kinds are native to North America and the very special Hopi black sunflowers are descended from plants grown in the Shungopavi village on the Hopi Reservation in what is now known as Arizona. These seeds had been bred over millennia as a dye plant for making baskets and they had been carefully tended and preserved from the contamination of the monoculture sunflowers that were introduced for oil production.

Though lots of sunflowers seeds will give a dye - this variety gives deeper colours, gorgeous luminous purples, greys and blacks. The seeds were collected as part of the Native seeds search project in 1978 and were grown on, harvested and distributed. You can now buy the seeds from specialist dye seed shops.

I was given a packet by Kat Goldin of Gartur Stitch Farm and sowed half of it - sowing under cover in April, growing on the plants until they were well established and planting out in May. They quickly grew to eight feet with big heads - and in mid September I began to harvest the seed heads.

Of course we are not Arizona. The sun does not shine as bright, the conditions are not as dry. A lot of the seeds never matured to the deep black that they would in their native lands. They certainly didn't stain my hands as I harvested the seeds and there are none in a state that I would save for next year.

The purple colours come from the compound anthocyanin - which I find to be a very tender thing. It is sensitive to pH and doesn't seem to respond well to heat, so I abandoned my usual slugging everything together method of dyeing and tried a gentler approach.

1. I put two large handfuls of seeds into a heatproof jar and poured over a kettle of just boiled water - then I left them to steep for 3 hours. The water changed to a Ribena colour.

2. I added a desert spoon of vinegar to the jar to acidify it, the colour lightened slightly.

3. I added pieces of linen mordanted with alum acetate, (Instructions in this book suggest adding raw alum to the dye pot) - after about 30 minutes they had turned a lavender colour. there was no difference in colour between 30 minutes and an overnight steeping.

4. Adding to an iron rinse for ten minutes changed the colour to grey.

You may also enjoy …

Comments: 0 (Add)

You must be signed in to post a comment. If you're already a member, please sign in now. If not, you can create an account here.

Snapdragon social

It is my birthday today and I intend to spend most of the day in the garden. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are a couple of orders to send out and some seedlings to drop off, but then it will just be me and this little menace pottering around the vegetable patch and putting seedlings in the ground (and hopefully not digging them up).
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Then I will be away from the main Instagram feed for a couple of weeks. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I will still pop up from time to time in the Studio Club stories feed, but otherwise I'll be on a social media break.

📷 @katgoldin 

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
#slowliving #mindfulgardening
My elder daughter Zoë asked for a stripy jumper knitted with wool dyed from the garden.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
These are the finished skeins - currently curing in the studio - dyed with sweet cicely, dock, bay, birch and nettle.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In a month they will be ready to knit with.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The slowest of slow fashion.

#slowstitching #slowfashion #naturaldyeing #foragedcolour #foragedcolor #naturaldyersofinstagram #sustainablemaking #sustainablecraft #plantdyedyarn #plantdyes
I find that, unless I have a particular time set aside for doing something I often simply don’t get around to it.

Even when that thing takes half an hour, even when I really want to do it. 

So this weekend, in the Studio Club, we set aside some time to start making a balm from daisies. 
I videoed myself as I went along and was there to answer questions. 

It made me realise that it’s actually quite difficult to see from the outside all the things that go on in the Club week to week. 

So I’ve decided to send an extra email every month , just to the people on the waiting list, giving a access to something that is usually members only. 

If you’ve been wondering whether the Studio Club is for you, you can join the waiting list via my profile. 

The next opening is in August. 

#sustainablemaking #slowliving #seasonalhome #daisybalm #herbalife #startwhereyouare #
Kat Goldin came round for a cup of tea and a natter last week - and took this photo of me for the next edition of A Seasonal Way.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I'm posting it today because it shows off the dress that I am inordinately proud of having knitted! 

The bodice is the Deren cardigan by @jacquelinecieslak and the skirt just flares out from that into a mid calf twirl. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
My pride is in the keeping going with the knitting . . . and in eventually using up some of the cones of wool silk yarn that I bought from a mill closure in 1984.

📷 @katgoldin 

#derensweater #derenpullover #jacquelineceislak #embodycapsulecollection #memademay2022 #memademay #memademayplus #memade2022 #sustainablefashion #seasonalhome
A week in dyes - recycled cotton threads from the dye pots, sorted, labelled and curing in the Studio.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
From left to right
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sweet Cicely and iron
Bloody dock
Bay and bloody dock
Bay and iron
Sweet Cicely and bloody dock,
Sweet Cicely

This year I’m exploring layering up colours and creating depth and also trying to work out how the base effects colour. 

#botanicaldye #alchemy #growyourowncolour #gameoftones #plantdyed #naturallydyedwool #plantdyersofinstagram #craftwithconscience
#shadesofnature #extractedfromnature #inspiredbynaturesbeauty
#slowstitching #sustainablemaking #foragedcolour
I picked this Black hero tulip when it fell down in the wind and put it so the evening light could shine through the petals - for unlit it looks a little undefined, a little absent, as many dark flowers do.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Then as I took this photo it reminded me of the art nouveau drawings of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh - the willowy bend, the swoop of the curved base, the full head.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Now I find myself speaking to it as I pass.

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #tulipblackhero #windowsillwednesday #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
It is warm enough to have the doors to the dye deck open again - this week there are dock, sweet cicely, bay and nettle in the dye pots, a shuffling around as they steep and simmer.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Today I shall be writing up my initial results for dyeing with bloody dock (rumex sanguineus) for a Studio Club blog. 

I love having that space to put up progress reports - and the report is  very much in progress as the colours on wool and cotton were radically different - so members can follow along with my experiments.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Doors close to the Studio Club tomorrow - and the next intake of new members will be in August. If you fancy a summer of seasonal inspiration and slow living then you can find out more and join at www.snapdragonlife.com

📷 @katgoldin 

#mystudio #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #allthingsbotanical #mindfulsewing #foragedcolour #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow  #plantdyersofinstagram #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife
I wrote a letter to the new Studio Club members yesterday. 

It was all about Euan’s Granny, and what she said to me when I was a stressed thirty year old. 

It was about what I thought she meant at the time and what I realise she meant now. (The letter actually goes out tomorrow morning so don’t worry if you haven’t got it 😂)

Then I took this photo of tulips at the ends of the vegetable beds and I remembered that at the time I was receiving the grandmotherly advice was also the year that I grew striped tulips for the first time. It was in my back garden in Old Kilpatrick and I took a bunch through for her. 

When we look back there is often such rhythm to our lives. 

#growyourownflowers #slowliving #cornersofmygarden #slowflowers #aseasonalway
snapdragon.life
FacebookTwitterPinterest

About Snapdragon Life

In the Studio Club I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Find out more about The Studio Club

Loading