Natural dyes – loquat leaf

I think natural dyes are a gateway to a life of crime. Let me explain, yesterday I broke into a school (it was the weekend and the gate was open) and stole a bag full of loquot leaves (I had permission to harvest them, but maybe not on the weekend). I was passing by on yet another trip to the vet (not an emergency this time) and saw the tree in the school yard, in my defense, I was overtaken by the insane urge to try loquot leaf dye NOW. I snuck in (with Melvin in tow) and harvested a small bag full of leaves from the defenseless tree, then raced back out to the car (in a non-guilty manner).

I zoomed home with my little bag of stolen goods and cut the leaves up for a dye pot straight away.

My little bag of stolen goods.
The evidence disposed of.

I had a fresh skein of homespun yarn that needed a wash, so I gave it a quick scour and dropped it into a pot of copper mordant (at a rate of 1/2 cup per 100g). Copper mordant is supposed to brighten colours in a dye pot.

When the blue colour had all migrated from the water to the yarn, I dropped in my bag of leaves and continued to simmer the pot. I was very careful to never let it boil as loquot leaf is apparently very sensitive to temperature.

After about half an hour I turned it off (or more accurately, I bellowed out for someone else to turn the pot off) and allowed it to sit overnight.

Looks like a rosy beige to me.

The next morning I heated it all back up again. It sat at a simmer for another half an hour before I left it all to cool down and see what shade of beige I have this time.

The result was, indeed, beige. A lovely shade of rosy beige. I continue my search for a non-beige natural dye and resign myself to wearing beige socks until my old age.

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