Preparing for the Natural Dye Workshop

Rhubarb, rhubarb everywhere! Preparing for the class began on Saturday morning with a crash course for me in making a mordant from Rhubarb leaves which all sounds rather easy, organic and lovely – and it is – but boy does it smell!

I enlisted small child to help me chop the weighed Rhubarb – basically 500g of leaves will make enough mordant for 1kg of dry fibre. This mordant is not suitable for plant fibre though but the liquid can be used to colour plant fibre.

You have to also remember that Rhubarb leaves are poisonous so wear gloves and protective gear and do not put it near your mouth.

weighing rhubarb choppingChopped and ready to go

After preparing the leaves into the pan with a good amount of water and a gentle simmer for an hour – and thats when the smell starts to build. If you don’t like the smell of Rhubarb cooking I suggest that you open the windows!

photo 1-4 after an hour this is the delightful mess you are left with in your pan – strain it well and leave to cool down before using

photo 4-2Then it was just a case of soaking the fabric in the liquid and simmering for 30 mins…

Once the fabric was simmered I then washed it throughly and left it to dry over night before ironing and we were ready to go!

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