Result of Eucayptus bundle and Dio Day Out

Most natural dyers say ‘time is your friend’ and encourage you to leave bundles soaking for weeks before opening for the colors to deepen.  Normally I can’t wait that long to see the results and don’t leave them for longer than a few days!  So going overseas was an ideal opportunity to leave them soaking.

I had a mordanted (alum and cream of tartar) pre loved cream blanket


that I bundled into a sausage shape with Eucalyptus cinerea.


I boiled it in a brass preserving pan for several hours and left it soaking while we were away.


After 2 months there was some mould on the top


but it did have some deep colorings.


It was exciting opening it and this is the result, washed and dry.

blanket compressed

I was surprised that some of the background color stayed a creamy/beige color, specially on the inside of the bundle. I am guessing the liquid did not penetrate that far. Maybe I should have rolled it wet?

I have not boiled a whole blanket with eucalyptus like this before so can not comment on whether the results are different, but I was pleased with the variety of markings.

I cut the blanket up and made cushions backed with other natural dyed blanket of a solid color, I even mastered button holes and used recycled buttons. I struggled using the synthetic polyester inner! I had also made other cushions of dyed silk and used a recycled mans shirt as the backing, (no need for buttonholes!!) an idea gleaned from my artist friend Charlotte Giblin of Bouncing Pig.

Half of them sold at the recent ‘Dio Day Out’, a fundraiser for the local Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. My friend David Lloyd has his sub tropical garden, with zany sculptures, studio and gallery open for visitors. There were several other artists exhibiting including David with his recycled wood works, Fiona Tunnicliffe from Putaruru with her signature pottery animals, Travis Taylor, a Graffiti artist and Jennie De Groot a modern impressionist painter. Jennie  is a very productive painter and has an amusing blog  called The Distracted Painter

Dio Day out cropped

My display at Dio Day Out

Here are other photos of the gallery taken by Jennie De Groot




935122_261602060631147_99853257_nNext time I will show some more bundles that were left brewing.


Latest results

I had several bundles to open

Bundles in Liquid Amber leaves

these had been boiled and left soaking for a week in Liquid Amber leaves. They all gave a pinky brown result depending on the fabric.


The boiled Bay Leaves had been steeping for the week. The results were disappointing colour wise but they did leave pale green eco prints. The silk I used does not seem to dye well.

Bay Leaves

I placed these Gum leaves and Eucalyptus cinerea branch on a piece of mordanted (Alum and Cream of Tartar) wool blanket, folded it in half and rolled it on a 90mm PVC pipe and placed it in a tall aluminium container (that I bought for $2 at the Dump Shop) with soaked gum leaves. I was thrilled with the result.

Aluminium container


John was pruning the Kauri trees in the Tauwhare Village so I claimed the prunings. This was a real gift as I would never use Kauri  as they are so slow growing. I have only used windfall leaves, which make a nice eco print but give very little color.

Kauri prunings

The results were a very subtle shade of fawn.

Kauri on Habotai silk

Kauri on habotai silk

Kauri on raw silk

Kauri on raw silk








The park still has a lot of autumn colour and the flowering cherry trees by the pond were stunning.

Flowering Cherries


I am terribly disappointed for the Park and owners John and Dorothy Wakeling, that it will be closing at the end of the month.  It is a real gem and a unique asset to the region. I know there is a dedicated team exploring funding all funding options and hopefully it may open in the future.