Monday, October 28, 2013

Fallen leaves

The walnut leaves turned from green to gold, and after the freeze, lost their connection to the branch and vanished on the wind. The walnut fruits themselves are rotting in a bucket of water on the back deck. Next week, I’ll simmer them for a couple of hours and strain the dye liquor from the nuts.

Walnut is a substantive dye. That means I can dye wool with only the dye liquor, no added mordant. I usually get a pale brown color when I dye with walnuts, but my friend Kate discovered that she can get a beautiful deep brown color by soaking the walnut fruit in water for a long time. I’m perfectly willing to wait until next week for a deep brown dye bath. After all, I’ve waited all summer, since the leaves first appeared, for the trees to produce nuts. What’s another week after the leaves have fallen?

1 comment:

  1. I got some beautiful rich red-brown color by soaking the walnut hulls for several days and then boiling them for a few hours. I used an alum mordant. To see photos, go to