Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Eco Dyeing with Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ Leaves Part II

My previous post

 Eco Dyeing with Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ Berries 
Part I

Pyracantha - is listed as an evergreen 

shrub - it has very sharp thorns.

This is a follow up with more 

experimentation. This time with the


 Only this time I used a stainless

steel pot instead of the anodized 

aluminum that I used previously.

I started with the leaves

(maybe about 2 cups) I then added water

(this time I used my tap water)

just enough to cover the leaves. I 

heated the water, just one boil and 

lowered the heat and left it cooking

for about one hour. I added nothing 

to this liquid. Turned off the heat 

and left it soaking for about 24 hours.

 I then strained it -

ooh lala - see the paper towel! I have

high hopes for this one!

The fabric I used is 100% cotton

(fat quarter size)  that

I boiled and then added 1 teaspoon

of alum.

I then put all of this in a jar...


I left it on the window sill for 

about one week.

 Took the fabric out of the jar

and rinsed it in warm water. I then

used woolite to wash.

Now I'm even more excited because

the color is NOT washing out! Yeah!

Here is the fabric hanging on my

curtain rod drying. Looks good!

 Trying to get a good photo of the

color but in each photo the color

looks different.

 I think I would call it a pumpkin 

orange leaning to the brown side.

And here it is ironed - the color

stayed the same. With some other 

experiments I had the color change

as soon as the iron hit it. 

The only other test I would like to

do with this piece is a light test - 

by exposing a square to the sunlight

and enclosing the rest of the fabric

with two card board pieces. I will

leave it in the sunlight for a couple

of days and see what happens. Hopefully

it will pass the test.

I am very happy with the results! 

It will be interesting to do this

experiment again in the spring just

to see if there is a difference in

color. In the spring the Pyracantha

has white flowers - the berries come

out in the fall.

My next post will be about the 

berries that were on this vine -

I'm redoing the experiment again.


  1. I'm loving your experiments with Pyracantha and Cleome. You learned quite a lot with the Cleome. The color is really affected by acids or alkalis and also heat. You did get some lovely colors, and the early pioneers would have taken advantage of this for holiday decorations or party dresses. I call these coors "one-offs" because you only get the original color once, before something starts changing it. Please continue to document your work, it is important in our field. Much of the history of natural dyeing was never recorded and has been lost. Your writing style is great and easy to follow. You will be a great benefit to the continuing story of natural dyeing and printing.

  2. Hi Jim! Well this is a coincidence - I just found your wonderful blog the other day.
    Thank you for your comments - they are an inspiration to me!
    Can't wait to go through your blog more thoroughly this weekend - the photos
    are encouraging - I'm still new to eco dyeing and printing. Looking forward to learning more.