Caroline Bell

A dyeing day


I have been waiting for a dry and sunny day to dye my banners for the exhibition in Romsey Abbey. I have been working on these on and off for the past six months so it was going to be a bit of a leap of faith. The original intention was to dye them red with madder but as the work progressed, I was aware that because I had included a lot of iron mordanted fabric, red was probably unachievable. I have done loads of samples but each one turned out differently so I had only an inkling of what I might end up with.

i also harvested my tansy crop, I have wasted to many of my dye crops this year.

I estimated that about 500g of dried madder root would do the trick. The brew looked promising…..

As expected when I put in the banners, colour shifts started almost immediately.

I made a secondary pot with the roots- waste not want not. Much more the colour I originally envisaged.

After several hours simmering banners have come out a pale aubergine

Not sure how I feel about them yet.