When I first moved here four years ago, I left a 93 acre WV mountain farm. Had lived there 15 years or so. Of course it was a huge change and there have been trade-offs. And once here, it was clear that cloth was calling out to me. I didn’t know why, But just now, looking for the name of the Greek mythological figure that emerged from the very slow cloth, I found the answer. There she was. There she has been. Clotho. “The youngest of the Three Fates who spin the thread of life.” I’ve been seduced by Clotho.
And then Jude Hill http://spiritcloth.typepad.com serendipitously appeared and between her influence and the guidance of Clotho, this journey with cloth has been an amazing series of discoveries. A delving into. Into self. Into life. And maybe most importantly, a medium for maintaining a connection with the earth.
But first the very slow cloth is nearing completion. Khaos, Greek for “the nothingness from which all sprang.”
OK. For the last three weeks I have been totally immersed in natural dyeing. Dyeing utilizing vegetation in my surrounds. And there is a ton of it here–vegetation–and not just quantity but the varieties are staggering. So a lot of interesting cloth has emerged. Some pretty ugly–and some really interesting. I think I’m finally starting to understand on a very beginner’s level what steps to take to encourage cloth to accept color. Wool is a protein fiber. Much more receptive to color from the earth. Silk is a hybrid of sorts. And cotton/muslin/linen–well it really has to be encouraged.
I love muslin. I love linen–especially old linen garments that have become thinner and softer over the years. Two of my oldest and favorite linen shirts seemed to be begging for an update. Shirts were soaked in vinegar overnight and then bundled up with peony leaves, yellow onion skin, purple basil that’s growing all over the place here, and a few mulberry leaves.
A few more peony leaves on linen:
And my favorites. Leaves on Muslin.
Now silk is another story all together. I bought several habotai silk scarves from Dharma Trading and have printed 5. Have 5 to go. If the results continue to improve I’m hoping to sell them either online or in a shop somewhere.
Unexpected joys are resulting from this exercise in eco printing. Yesterday a little plant called to me over and over again. Finally I referenced my 1968 Peterson Field Guide to discover it was Heal-All or Selfheal.
Weld and Woad in the dye garden are starting to grow. The madder is taking it’s good time which doesn’t surprise me. Roots need to be at least 5 years old before they can be used. Marigolds doing great.
And finally, reminder to self. Don’t wait so long to post. Too much happens in between.