Bottled sunshine

Summer is finally winding down here in the UK, and we have had a lot of sunshine. I’ve been bottling fruit from the hedgerows for various jellies and drinks…I’ve also bottled some colour from a coreopsis plant I bought at my local market.

Here’s my plant along with a large glass jar and some wool fibre I’ve mordanted in alum (10% WOF). Here’s my assistant putting the flowers, yarn and some water in the jar:


I have a small plastic greenhouse and it was a bright sunny day, so we put the jar in the greenhouse to capture some sunshine. In just a few hours the colour was coming out of the flower heads and making a solar dye bath:


I waited until the end of the day – most of the colour had transferred to the fibre. Here it is hanging out on the line:


The colour really is similar to the flowers – that might seem obvious but quite a number of plants I’ve dyed with give surprising colours. This one is a warm peachy yellow/orange. I’m looking forward to spinning it into yarn next, possibly combined with some other colours…I’ll save it until it’s bleak and raining outside and it will remind me that we really did have a lovely warm summer this year. Maybe my sloe gin will be ready by then, too.

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