After visiting India Flint’s wonderful blog Prophet of Bloom (I love the subtitle ‘Not all those who wander are lost’) for the umpteenth time and gazing in admiration at the wonderful stuff she makes, I decided it was time to throw some roses & steam together for myself and see what would happen:
That was try number one. Oh, the folly of thinking I could keep up with India Flint! I obviously used too few petals but it did give me a good idea of what to expect. The red roses came from my garden. The rambler has been there for 14 years, I think, and offers up red splashes of huge blooms all through summer. The last ones were in bloom just now and I’m worrying my favourite rose will not last through winter (don’t ask me why – I hope I didn’t just jinx it to death) so I figured, at least I will have a tangible reminder.
The little bag is something I found lying around while I was looking for white natural fabric. The kerchief, however, I inherited from my grandmother and is much loved (although I never use it – does that ever happen to you? I just like to look at it every once in a while). So anyway, take two:
So… what happens is you suspend the bundle over a pot of steaming water for an hour or two. The steam leaches the colour from the petals and leaves, which then imprints upon the fabric. India gets the most beautiful prints of entire leaves and branches and colours, a glorious representation of summer and fall. Obviously she has turned it into an art. If you live in America or Australia, you should definitely try to attend one of her workshops if you get a chance. Look here for more: India Flint’s Workroom.
Wrapping the bundles is wonderful because it makes me feel like a bit of a witch, quite frankly. But unwrapping is the best of the whole process because the outcome is such a wonderful surprise!
I love how the bright red of the roses turned into this vibrant purple! It’s as if I gathered summer grapes or berries in a kerchief and accidentally crushed them and the juices stained the fabric. Definitely something I’ll do again and recommended for all ages and abilities if you are not too demanding. I’m sure the children would love doing this, too!
A description I found online says to iron the fabric to set the colour and it should be (hand-)washable after that.
well done! my solar dye experiment with a rose give me a subtle pink color.
Thank you! I did not manage pink but this is something I will be trying again…
Thanks for teaching me something new. I would never have thought to bundle up flower petals and steam them. to dye fabric. I am really keen to give this a shot, once my roses start blooming in my garden. Thanks for posting. 🙂
How nice, that makes me really happy :-). Let me know how you fare…
Hi Iris, what a beautiful colour your petals produced! Congratulations – must try for myself now the roses are blooming again in the garden. I’ve got good colour from pansies and heartsease (wild violet, Viola tricolour).
Thank you, I was really pleased with the results as well. I’ve tried pansies on your recommendation and they do, indeed, make for lovely colours. I liked the paper imprints on your blog, as well.