Birch Bark

I am continuing to use the Common as a starting point for new work. During all the windy weather many birch trees came down and I have been collecting bits of the bark with the view to exploring its dye potential.Image

A rather lovely piece. The bit that has the dye in it is the layer of bark under the white outer. It was extremely difficult to prise it away from the wood. However I managed to put together enough for my purposes. I decided to use the ‘slow method’ of leaving it in a jar I wrapped one of the pieces of fabric in some old beer bottle tops also gathered from the Common. It has been stewing away on my window ledge for about 3 weeks. The intention was to leave it longer however I noticed this morning it was looking distinctly murky so I decided that enough was enough and I tipped the whole lot into a pan and then boiled it up to kill anything that was growing in it. These are the resultsImage

I think there is potential here and the whole process merits further investigation.Β 


4 Comments on “Birch Bark”

  1. Tricia says:

    Hi Caroline, Lovely colours, I wonder how you managed the purple bits? I did some dye a while back as a big branch of my Weeping Willow came down I also used the pale part of the bark just under the surface. Willow contains a lot of tannin. I did as you did and just soaked it. It never went even a bit murky or smelly. It smelled wonderful, just like soap. The colour was a beautiful golden colour. You can still smell the lovely soapy smell on the fleece now quite a while after. Please do let me know your theory on the purple parts. Could it have been the bottle tops.

    • thredfairy says:

      Hi Tricia
      The purple bits came from the bottle caps I included as you suggested. Definitely food for thought

      • Tricia says:

        Well, I wonder what the bottle tops are made from? Yes that is very interesting. Considering how difficult it can be to produce that colour naturally? I wonder if you were to use the same caps again whether the purple would still be there whether there would be more or less pigment. I mean that would suggest whether the metal was the cause or some outer coating.. Very interesting indeed. Haven’t done any natural dyeing for ages. I think I will watch this space should you experiment further. πŸ™‚ Thanks Tricia

  2. arlee says:

    oo ooo oooo can’t wait till *my* season begins πŸ™‚ love the pinky brown–browny pink? πŸ™‚

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