Monday, September 14, 2009


Do you have a favorite flower? Well I do, and it is the hollyhock. It has not always been though. It used to be the tulip, but lasty year, in the spring, I planted some hollyhock seeds. The pictures on the seed packets looked beautiful, but the first year as is often the case the plants barely grew. Then this summer, they started growing, and buds started appearing. Every time I walked outside the door, I would check on their progress. And finally they bloomed, one flower at a time. The blooms were so beautiful, all plump and ruffled, and so vibrantly colored.
I had to few hollyhocks to create a dye out of them, but I still wanted to capture the rich reds, so I used cocheneal instead, and created Hollyhock.
There is a little more to it though. To give it this incredible depth, I first dyed it with Alkanet which gave it a grey tone, and then overdyed it with cochineal. That was a lengthy process, but the result was worth it!
Every time I use natural dyes, I am in awe of the intensity and depth of the colors, as well as their range. They definitely require so much more work, and patience than chemical dyes, but working with them is always rewarding. The results definitely are, don't you think?