Tag Archives: E Websteriana

Who knew embroidery could be so much fun?


I have been so inspired by other dyers’ work with naturally dyed embroidery thread that I decided a while back that perhaps I could include some silk thread in my many dye pots.  I dyed a large quantity of wool in small batches over the last few months, so there have been quite a few opportunities.  Really, I had friends who like to embroider in mind at the time.  I thought I could gift them my little lengths of dyed thread.  However, a vast new plan has sprung into my mind.  I dug out the embroidery hoop I brought home from an op shop years back, but have never used.  It helps enormously but also makes embroidery rather louder than I had anticipated, as if the fabric were a drumhead!  I did not expect to find embroidery so thrilling, or so noisy.

This new project has had me out and about in the neighbourhood visiting species of eucalypt I use less.  There have been some  surprises.  The two spindly E Websterianas with their minnirichi bark and their heart-shaped leaves are gone!  They were not thriving in that location just a few blocks away, I admit.  But I am sorry to have lost them (let alone that someone probably took all that leafage to the dump).

Another day I went to two different E Scoparias, walking further to get to the one which dependably hangs low when I couldn’t reach the leaves of the closest.  Gone was the lush straggly undergrowth that used to surround it, and gone was the low hanging branch.  I am not sure whom it had offended.


At least the tree is still there, snuggled up to an equally large carob tree.  Since major infrastructure came to my neighbourhood and trucks became a constant form of traffic through streets large, medium and small, the low hanging branches of many of my favourite trees have been removed.  Apparently no one was considering the suburban gleaner at the time…

On a subsequent trip, I discovered that the largest, most luxurious E Scoparia in my neighbourhood, whose tree hating neighbour had me worried when I was collecting bark, has been pruned with a chain saw so that no longer do its lovely leaves hang anywhere I will be able to reach them without a ladder.  Luckily, the bark will fall where I can reach it, and the tree is still there despite having such a determined human enemy.


Filed under Dye Plants, Eucalypts, Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

Hits and misses

The other day I was at an exercise class in a park.  One if the trees was helpfully labelled Lagunaria patersonia (pyramid tree).  It turns out to be native (to Australia, though not to this part of it).  So… I decided to take a sample and test its dye properties.


I am here to report to you, dear reader, that this is not one of the stellar dye plants of our time.  That smudge on the right of the linen square with the questionable machine embroidery is the best I can show for a leaf print after an hour and with teh presence of iron and soy mordant.  The only fibre on my swatch showing any colour after an hour of simmering is wool + alum, a delicate shade of yellow-green.


On the other hand, I made these cushion covers from leaf-printed cotton and linen.  They are for friends who invited us to a holiday house they share near Mittagong.  I hope they’ll accept these as thanks for the lovely relaxing time we had with them.


They are custom fit to the cushions on the verandah of their holiday house, whose covers have seen better days.



Filed under Dye Plants, Eucalypts, Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing, Uncategorized