Sunday, 11 May, 2008 07:11

View of the Valley

Yesterday was our first full day in Umbria, and was the start of our 2 day workshop on natural dyes. This is our view from the house, my room, and the dye shed. Gorgeous, isn’t it. Down the valley, less than 7 km away, is Tuscany. We are sitting right on the border in Umbria.

Ildika, our natural dye instructor, took us on a little walk along the road, and we gathered fresh dye materials. We did a little cutting of chestnut leaves, apple leaves, and some sort of vine growing along the road side. In the afternoon, we collected bright orange red poppies, while Ildika gathered poplar leaves. She also brought along some olive prunings to dye with.

Rest of the day, we talked about the dyeing process, color stability of various dye plants, mordents, and fibers. We washed some wool and alpaca, mordented them along with some silk, cotton, and wool fabrics. The poppy dye bath was ready to dye by late afternoon. Wow! What a gorgeous, gorgeous color. Too bad it’s not color fast, but wow! (Pictures later, since the camera cable is upstairs in the room.)

Last night, we decided to stay in for dinner instead of going out to a local restaurant. Ildika made dessert from the sambucus flower (elderberry) fritters we found growing along the driveway. Yum, yum, yum.

Pictures later.

More dyeing today. We prepared cochineal and madder for dyeing, in addition to the fresh matters.

Ed. Note: I can’t figure out how to change the timezone for the blog without screwing too many things up on the server, so I’ll be including the actual date/time of the post in the post