Madder dyeing

There was a very exciting moment in the garden last week.  I was digging out madder roots hoping to create enough space to plant Japanese indigo seedlings (as you do).  I found a substantial chrysalis and moved it out of harm’s way.  Then a bit later, a movement caught my eye, and a large moth was emerging from the chrysalis right before my eyes.  What a privilege! Naturally I wasn’t going to waste the madder root.  I had some wool cold mordanting in a bucket, so I processed the roots and created a vat.  While I was at it, I did the same with the carrot tops from our farmers’ market.

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I ended up with quite a red colour from the first madder bath and two orange shades from the exhaust baths, as well as a nice yellow from the carrot tops.

Plus, the joy of watching the moth emerge.  I think it might be a native hawk moth. Back in this post, I found I rather wonderful caterpillar in the madder, and I have found them several times since.  I’ve also seen similar chrysalises (?) in the garden.  Pisstkitty,  a generous and regular reader thought it might be a native hawk moth, Hippotion scrofa, the Coprosma hawk moth.  I thought she was right then, and I think this is the moth form of the same creature.  Glorious.

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5 Comments

Filed under Dye Plants, Natural dyeing

5 responses to “Madder dyeing

  1. Colours and creatures emerging! And thank you for the J indigo and woad…the seeds are all coming up so very excited.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beauts! The wool and the moth…and a great photo of it.
    Glad I could be of help—I learn so much here.
    : )

    Like

  3. What a wonderful surprise! And great colours too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love those colours. Where you write about “cold mordanting”.. what was the mordant? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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