I thought I would do a series of foraging and dyeing posts. it's a great summer activity and is kid friendly.
part i: grape leaves! incredibly easy to find - look on the sides of trails, fences, tangling themselves around trees. the leaves are large and multi-pointed. you can also use their fruit as a clue. collect a few extra and make stuffed grape leaves.
here is an image from my yard.
collect 20 or so leaves. cut, rip and tear them into smaller pieces. put them in a glass vessel. in a second glass vessel, heat as much water as you need to cover the leaves in the microwave. I used a cup of water and heated it for a minute and a half. pour the water over the leaves.
in the meantime, gather scraps of natural fibers (cotton, linen, silk). rinse them and vigorously smoosh them (technical term of course) around in the water to clean off any impurities. while the fibers are wet, immerse them into the grape leaf extraction.
let the fibers sit overnight, or until a good color develops. grape leaves are high in tannin, so the color will fix well without the use of a traditional mordant. here are my samples on cotton. a very soft, sunny yellow - perfect for summer.
tune in next week for a lesson on color mixing using our grape leaf dyed fabric. let me know how your foraging adventure goes!