How to Grow California wildflowers for botanical Dyeing
It's finally Spring and we've been having some beautiful sunny weather here in Southern California, which has inspired me to begin planting my dye garden this Spring. I will be sharing a few posts under this category over the next month, so if you are interested in growing plants for dye then please follow along! Currently, I planted my indigo seeds and I am growing a mix of California Wildflowers to start off my dye garden. At the moment, the indigo and wildflower mix has just been started, and I can't wait to share the progress from Day 7 as they sprout to Day 21 as they begin to bloom. I selected this particular mix for our evening Botanical Dye workshop on May 10th.
This Waterwise mix includes 20 annuals:
Some of the highlights include, California poppies, Desert Marigolds, Verbena, Primrose, Bluebells and Calendula. I am looking forward to experimenting beforehand to see what dyes each flower might yield. I will also transfer all over our indigo seedlings to these raised Cedar planters that came in this week. Even if you just have a few containers or pots scattered about, you can still try out this Water-wise Mix. Some of the remaining planter space is for wildflowers, although I have them currently sprinkled around many different places in our garden and one pot near the front porch. These are drought-tolerant, which I like and the reviews say they can be somewhat forgotten about as far as daily watering.
At the workshop in May, we are going to be eco-printing large silk square scarves. I love the high-quality silk as a surface and I source them ethically from Maiwa Textiles in Vancouver. If silk is not your thing, you could also do a cotton piece, which we can work out in advance. You can join below if you are interested in the group workshop here in my garden.
The last time we offered this workshop was over a year ago, so I should also say that we only host this particular workshop once in Spring, one-time annually, so it is a special opportunity to learn to dye botanically. The last time a gardener friend of mine, donated lots of wildflower clippings that turned into beautiful flower prints on fabric. This time, I am growing wildflowers to create even more color options. I am especially excited about infusing the garments with calendula and using it as dye. What colors will result and will the pieces also smell amazing?
Want to see some pieces that I dyed with avocado and oxalis, a weed that grows by the roadside here in Los Angeles? Keep on reading, to see all the beautiful plant colors and inspiration. Click below to receive my free botanical guide on how to get started dyeing with plants!
Some pieces, you can dye individual hues, like the ones below. These are dyed with Indigo, Avocado and with Oxalis, a weed that grows near the roadside in Southern California in Spring.
Here is a silk piece by Kristine from last year's workshop that now doubles as a wall hanging. She used irises, rose petals and marigolds on silk which you can see from the colors below.
The color transfers via a steaming process, above you can see our workshop guests laying out their designs. Then, while the bundles steam, they work on a sea salt scrub with certified Aromatherapist, Flin Grant of Art of Essentials. Lately, I have heard a ton about the benefits of sea salt baths in particular, so an aromatherapeutic scrub is just another way to relax and restore yourself through this workshop.
Last but not least, I'm sharing an insane photo of the super bloom that is happening in Southern California east of L.A. right now. It has me feeling so excited and inspired to create more fabrics that are infused naturally with plants as dye.
If you are ready to get started, but can not attend the workshop, then please join to receive a free copy of my Top 3 Botanical Dye projects, which includes: How to Dye with Avocados, Botanical Prints on cotton with soy milk mordant, and Botanical Dyes on Silk!
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for an artful sustainable home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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