Magic of MulleinMullein plants have been used for centuries both as medicinal and as a wick for natural torches. The leaves here give a good light gold on Ahimsa silk after steeping in dye bath from several leaves. Stem of plant not yet trialed. Plants seed themselves in the fruit and vegetable allotment: thousands of seeds but just a few plants, biannual.
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Fully cover dyestuff leaves with pond water, and stand to soak for 24-48 hours.Boil up in 2 or 3 inches of rainwater for 10 mins then simmered for at least an hour until the colour reaches full strength. Dip piece of soft white tissue in to test strength from time to time. it may be necessary to add water if simmering a long time.Remove dyestuff leaves. Allow dye bath to cool until barely hand hot to be gentle for the silk.Immerse silk and agitate for 5 minutes then leave to soak, stirring every 20 mins or so. Some dyes absorb immediately; some need longer overnight soaking.Absorption of colour depends on whether the silk has been pre-mordanted in alum crystals; which is not always necessary.Silk piece is washed out gently in warm water until water runs clear. Hang out to dry without squeezing too much.Steam iron when almost dry to remove creases.
[This silk will be incorporated into a Shamanic Nights garment and linked to here in due course]