Monday, 17 October 2011

Chestnut Hull Dying

Autumn is here. The yuzu citrus on the trees are turning orange. Snoopy doesn't want to walk on her regular walking route this time of year because the road is littered with prickly chestnut hulls. She got pricked on her tender little paw bottoms years ago and won't forget that. (The damn monkeys scatter them all over the place.)
It is a shame not to follow the seasons. We picked up some hulls and squealed and yelped until they were boiled soft. Again we used old kimono lining with simple shibori.
I want the students to just get the process of mordants and boiling and what plant gets what color. Playing on this almost-free silk gives us the freedom to play without worrying about how to use the material. It is a shame when we get a beautiful color like this and we haven't dyed skeins of silk to weave. The moment of the season makes this process precious. There are still plenty of chesnuts around to re-do this one.


  1. That is such a beautiful colour from those prickly creatures. We gathered hazelnuts yesterday, to eat not to dye with although now you've got me wondering...

  2. How fascinating, I hope to be one of those students and to understand about mordant, boiling and colours. I love the soft tone given by chestnut hulls, and I marvel at the fact that they can be used to die.

  3. Lis san: Hazelnut hulls and twigs give a similar but softer beige/brown on silk with iron.