Wednesday, 30 September 2015

natural dye - costmary

     costmary - (Tanacetum balsamita) is a giant plant growing at the side of my house!  it smells like mint, so that's nice, but apparently it doesnt taste like it.  i have never tried, but my aunt has, she said it makes nasty tea.  it has formerly been a pretty much useless and large perennial just growing there.

    i have however been doing a bit of looking up on some of the plants in my area and noticed something... the costmary has little yellow button flowers, which are kinda pretty, but kinda reminded me of a certain common dye plant.. tansy!  and the latin name for tansy is  Tanacetum vulgare!  this just screamed that this plant had tonnes of potential as a dye plant!

     and it does!  it makes a lovely yellow dye.  i think it actually is brighter than this picture shows it to be!  (from left to right - soaking in hot tap water overnight, steeping in hot water, and then in simmered dye)

     the plant also has lots of potential for ecodyes!  i have always had success making prints with the leaves.  usually bright yellow leaf prints.  the leaves can be rather large but the ones higher up towards the flowers can be more tiny.

     costmary success!

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