In my travels on natural dyeing, I ran into this lovely post on using Euca (might be the name of my next cat!) as a source for orange dye. The aforementioned blogger notes that Eucalyptus pulverulenta
is known to provide a natural orange…and that is what she used. However there are many (like 700) species of euca existing. That notwithstanding, I know that there is a euca at my sister's house. It has kind of grown out of control but in driving around in the Low Country I do see these, and they seem to be twisty bendy kind of trees. (The branches are at the top of this rather bad photo…but you get the gist)
So, I motored off to my sister's in search of. Now, we all know that this has been a harsh winter all over the place. I found my sister's tree with a number of freeze-dried branches; she planted it a couple of years ago and it is now about 20 feet tall! So, I clipped off a number of dried branches plus some fresh ones. And mind you…I have NO CLUE as to the species...
Here is the heavenly smelling dye bath!
And here is a test dip of wool…oh my!!!
I had some silk roving. Poorly labelled, I don't think that there is any merino in it but I couldn't swear to it. Jennifer from whom I bought the roving a while back said that "silk takes dye really well." I had spun up a bobbin's worth of single ply and separated it into two hanks.
I did what I could do for a chemistry experiment as best I could:
1) First hank: simmered in alum mordant pot for an hour (see sandalwood dye recipe for details)
2) Mordant free
The dyepot: 6.5 oz oz of euca, used small twigs and leaves
Several quarts of water. I confess, I did not measure. It was the capacity of my crockpot dedicated dyepot plus at some point I added another quart.
I simmered them for an hour with the euca still in…then let it sit overnight.
If you don't want to ever buy Mucinex again…try inhaling a euco dyepot instead... Lovely. But watch the cats and small children…it is a toxin if ingested!!
Here is the result: lovely, wonderful…and possibly fugitive…the mordanted on the right is duller and browner. Unmordanted, probably fugitive, a fabulous coppery shiny thing. Ah, but what fun!!!