thank you

Thank you for all your comments to the previous post and I apologize for such a late post! I have enjoyed reading and been thinking about your words as the days passed and I immersed myself into printing and dyeing. I have found that the more time I spend doing my own thing the clearer it becomes to me what I want to do next/what excites me/I like/I am drawn to. And the more I focus on that the happier I feel. And, surprisingly, I can appreciate other’s work even more & better.

Nancy, as you mentioned, I too would tend to be quite deliberate. The older I get the more time I spend just  thinking about what I am going to do rather then doing. But it’s usually those less planned pieces I love the most. So I hope to deliberately cut back on thinking time and make more room  for just playing. It’s then when we discover.  You plan one thing, another happens. We notice – what we like, what we don’t; it helps us to move from one place to another, helps with direction.

Today I want to share a little experiment I did the other day. My colleague does flower arrangements mostly for weddings so I get a lot of rose leaves on a regular basis. They contain tannins and I thought I could try to dye with them. The leaves and some stalks were chopped and cooked for about an hour then left in the pot overnight.

rose leaves in the pot

Next day I heated the bath and mixed in a small tsp of iron, rusty water could be used but I have none at the moment. In went various fibres, simmered for about 40 min and left overnight. Here are the colours.

rose leaves dyeing


The background cloth is very fine linen, it’s steel grey. So is the viscose jersey and viscose tops – bottom left. Silk habotai and dupion on the top left are deeper mid grey. Wool fabric middle top and merino fibre bottom right are khaki grey. The green in the centre is wool fabric and a puzzle, I don’t know why green, was it somehow treated in the production? 100 % wool yarn top right is the darkest, almost black (black brown, like the soil).

I think the colours would have been darker had I removed the leaves from the pot and the leaves had more room.




  1. Love those colors. Im intrigued as to why all shades of grey and one bright yellow! what changed?
    I tend to overthink too… and it’s a killer of ideas.

    1. Me too, Mariana, it reminds me of the time when we used to do dyeing ‘together’. The yellow is more green in real life, I have tested the same fabric twice and it’s always this colour. Sadly, seller doesn’t know much about it either.

  2. Playing around is always the most fun for me too!
    I’m hoping to try out a new plant this evening after work…… one that natural dye books say gives a nice chartreuse. I want to see if I can translate that into a chartreuse eco print! You never know until you play!

  3. hi there. just stumbled onto your blog by chance and am totally smittened AND baffled. i have been trying to do bundle printing of leaves on a variety of fabric–linen, muslin, silk–for several weeks and i’m getting absolutely NO imprint. using a variety of leaves–sour wood, oak red maple, locust, sumac–nothing but the faintest image is appearing. cloth is scoured, mordanted in potassium al. sulfate. bundles are wrapped tight and steamed or submerged in water. i usually open them the next day but NOTHINg is happening.

    i am so frustrated. Any ideas?

    1. Hello Patricia, please, check my About page as I have answered similar comment there.
      From what you are writing I would recommend you explore mordants (Eco Colour by India Flint) – alum is good for immerse dyeing and only for some eco print – only for some fabrics eg. silk and wool and for some plants eg. those you would use for immerse dyeing. Cellulose fibres have to be mordanted with milk, vinegar, ash, washing soda… combination of these. I often wait for more than a night, I just opened bundles which were out in a bucket (cold dyeing) for 21 days.
      There is so much in the above book + on-line I feel I would repeat others. Check this blog for example And give yourself time, as you learn about relation between mordants, fibre and plants your prints will be better and better.

  4. Hi Monika, I have been following you for a long long time. You are so generous with you dyeing skills. I do appreciate that. Also your dyed pieces are so very beautiful. I’ve used rose leaves for printing, but never tried just dyeing. I have a few rose bushes in my garden. Will definitely try it before they are all gone. I’m in Australia and as you know. We have the opposite seasons to the Europeans! Hugs Nat

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