Natural Dyes and Paints Camp!

We started off by heading over to one of the kid’s houses to harvest walnut leaves. We pruned a sidewalk purple leafed plum tree on the way home. Then, we headed to the park to collect oak galls. I pre-mordanted all of the shirts and socks in an alum solution simmered for 30 minutes and then left in overnight. We experimented with a pair of shorts pre-mordanted in oak galls since they are so high in tannin. I’ve even seen fibers dyed in straight oak gall dye before. But, this time we were using it as a homemade mordant.

These two goof balls (also known as Ian and Kisho) did matching shiboried shirts in the walnut leaf dye.

We boiled up a purple cabbage, added some left over “paint’ we had made from blueberries, blackberries and raspberries (juice really). Marta did a design with rubber bands around marbles in a circle. We ended up calling it the “magic shirt” because it liked to change color. Some of the rubber bands she used had been used in a turmeric dye before and created a sunburst around the marbles. When she wore it and filled some water balloons at the park it turned blue where it got wet. Later, we picked 135 oranges from a neighborhood tree. When we juiced them some of the juice got on the shirt and turned it orange. She was quite pleased with herself!

Lucy decided to dye an entire outfit in different dyes. So, we have a shirt dyed in purple plum leaves in a rusty bucket. She wrapped rubber bands around marbles in a circle around her crow. We have shorts mordanted in oak galls and then dyed in the walnut leaves. They came out a beautiful golden color.

One of her socks was dyed in walnut leaves. The other was dyed in a yellow onion skin dye bath we had already used to dye our fancy eggs in the day before. She shiboried her socks using popsicle sticks and rubber bands.

Last but certainly not least we have Charlie in his amazing yellow onion skin dyed shirt. Talk about a happy guy. He wore it to camp for two days straight!

More fun to come. This week is HERBS FOR KIDS CAMP and we’ve been busy!

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