Adventures in Eco-Dyeing

Initial adventures

So very many things have inspired the way I do my life right now.

Can’t quite recall exactly when ideas of using spent food bits and bobs to transfer colour to fabric odds and ends first entered my brain sphere, but maybe it was back when I hung out with Nansi who told me once, that lichen results in a lilac colour, or when I worked with Wendi in the wonderful world of seed merchantry at Eden Seeds, or just whilst rambling in the garden did such ideas spring in…

I certainly first heard of India Flint back then, but that really was years ago and any anticipation of experimentation was placed on the back burner, and left to gently simmer away unnoticed.

It’s the detail of home-life that comes under the microscope when motherhood arises. For me, anyway, the energy spent outward, teaching as was my vocation, was shifted right around and a limelight shone on my domestic home bubble of activity.

The micro-moments between the endless feeding, cooking, cleaning, folding, tidying; the real teeny tiny moments left over after the emails were replied to, the Skype dates completed, the dog groomed, the garden maintained, the rubbish bins brought in, the shopping list updated, the visits from family over, the car cleaned and vacuumed, the dead bouquet composted, the sewing of extra bibs and pants done, the gifts for other new babies made (with cards too), the casserole prepared or mung beans soaked, in the flash points between, some things did arise from the simmering pot…

And what a simplistic way to keep the mind turning over!

You mean to say, those onion skins I would’ve tossed away without a second thought have another purpose? The water I soaked last night’s black bean dish in, could be used before pouring down the sink? That jar of dry powdered turmeric is more like a little pot of pure untapped yellow golden SUNSHINE?  How wonderful!

And, as it turn out, these simplistic experiments are oh so only the briefest glimpse of the colossal eco-dyeing iceberg that lays beneath.

So basically, like a wee trapdoor opening through what I just assumed was a brick wall, has the mystique of  discovery aroused some sort of torrid desire to collect (and salvage) food scraps! To head outdoors after a windy night, to collect windfall! To find my freezer full of soured milk leftovers, past-used-by-date bottles of soy milk, old eggs and avocado pits! To rejoice in finding a bit of scrap iron that has rusted! To hunt down particular seed in an effort to grow a “dyer’s garden”!

All this and much, much more weirdness will be shared from now on.

All this, to try to create something,  something new, something beautiful.


Yew! My new category!  ADVENTURES IN ECO-DYEING.







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