Preparing Eucalyptus Dye Bath
- Silk can be pre-mordanted by soaking in water with alum in a bowl overnight; although not necessary with Eucalyptus, due to its strength which I didn't know at the time. (Alum is bought in powder form) Soya milk can also be used as a pre-mordant.
- Break up bark and leave to soak for a day or overnight, even several days may release more colour. I added 3 leaves to ensure a colour result (as dye instruction books use leaves for strong result).
- Heat to boil, then simmered for 1hr-1hr 30mins until a depth of colour absorbed. (Its always a good idea to leave dye stuff to soak over night and reboil dye liquid again the next day if colour is not very strong, before adding fabric again).
- Remove bark from pan and leave liquid to cool to just hand hot, before adding silk. (Silk can go rough if exposed to boiling temperature).
- It wasn’t necessary to-heat the dye bath again to obtain more colour, as the silk took up the dye well immediately, and quickly grew darker. After about an hour of soaking, frequently moving around, I removed silk, heated the dye bath again for about 10 mins and again left it to cool before soaking silk again.
- The Habotai silk I used, absorbs bark dye very well, and quickly. (Ahimsa silk test yet to be done).
- Trialed lace fabric (content unknown; likely cotton/polyester mix) which appeared to rapidly take up the dye, although it was not pre-mordanted, as the silk was.
- The cotton lace sample dyed very well in the secondary dye bath where iron water was added.
The dye is strong enough to use for secondary soaks. A lace piece soaking.
Comparison with original gold dyed and secondary soak with iron modifier (rusty nail water)
[Gold silk was used for the painting used with Kimono Dress Tasmanian Blues]