Sunday, 7 December 2014

Feedback please

I am a novice at natural dyeing. The chemistry of the reactions with the animal and plant based fibres. The use of mordants. The actual process of the dyeing , of extracting the dye out the plant material and getting it into the fibres to enable them to react. The whole process fascinates me. This is not really surprising as these kind of process have played a large part of my career as an engineer.

So I recklessly decided that my final C&G wall hanging would be naturally dyed. I decided to use madder. I didn't not grow the plant in my garden , although this is possible , I bought ready ground roots. Madder gives orange to red colours depending on the conditions of the dyeing. I determined not to try and be too clever but just dye my two pieces in my madder bath and wait and see what happens.

I am pleased with the results and one of the requirements of the course is to obtain feedback on the pieces. so I am requesting readers of this blog to please give me some feedback on the two pieces below. So I hope you can spare me a little of your time to tell me what you think .

Photographs © courtesy of Dave Mercer.

Thank you



  1. Just saw the previous white pieces ... and I LOVE what the madder "soup" did
    to them both !!!
    Fun to see how different the materials react. The whitish of the scrim works so well !
    Love the one with the "dots" best (really can't say why, just do ...)
    I think your dye adventure makes you taste for more !?!

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Most people like the dots one the best. You are quite right my dye adventure is probably only just beginning.

  2. I love the textures (ropes and flaps) on both of them but think I prefer the second one, I think it is because there is more contrast between the dark dots and the scrim. I'm also drawn to circle motifs so that might have something to do with it too. I would love to see the before dyeing pieces for comparison, I expect most of the variations in colour are due to the different materials rather than different starting colours?

  3. Thanks for comments , You can see the un-dyed pieces in my last post. The variation in colours are entirely due to the different materials .