This was the jar containing hollyhock flowers and water for solar dyeing that I set up at the end of last week’s natural dyeing workshop with Cordwainers Garden. It includes a small piece of stitched silk shibori.
I was intending to leave it for at least a couple of weeks, especially as the “solar” contribution has been somewhat patchy recently (feels like autumn already!). in fact, I’d forgotten about it completely. But yesterday I suddenly remembered it and thought I’d check it.
To my consternation, there was some white mould growing on the top.
I’m not sure if this was because I should have been shaking it regularly, or because I didn’t fill the jar right up to the top. But it didn’t seem like a good idea to leave it for much longer.
So I removed the fabric and unpicked the stitches. The colour was impressively dark when it was wet – the same shade as the dye, and similar to the colour achieved by steaming in bundles. But by the time it was dry, it had lightened considerably to a sort of battleship grey.
Maybe it would have been darker if I had left it longer or if the sun had been stronger, but I’m quite happy with this colour.
It also had quite a strong medicinal smell, but by the time it was dry this had faded.