Friday, 28 August 2009

Using persimmon tannin to get rustic browns on linen. Unlike most natural dyes which need to be boiled and mordented with a mineral salt, persimmon tannin is fixed with ultra violet rays.(Hung in the sun.) It takes a good ten dips and a full day in the hot sun after each dip to turn a deep rich brown. It works well aesthetically with indigo and I've been experimenting with the two properties for several years now. The persimmon tannin (kakishibu) needs good weather and there just isn't enough of it in the summer here. I keep a close eye on the weather forecasts and am up at the break of day to get the material in the dye and then on the metal roof of my kitchen to bake and brown. I have another month or so to finish up this year's dying. Of course there is next year. I always have a carry over box of half-dyed material to finish of the following May.

Here are a few samples of work with stencil paste resist with indigo and re-pasted and dyed with persimmon tannin. I've been playing with Buddhist images this year.


  1. Absolutely fascinating. As you say, it works beautifully with the indigo blues.

  2. This textile turned out so beautiful. I can even see the little "Ten Bulls" image. Kakishibu would probably do very well here in much sunshine!