As the warm sunny days of summer give way to the cool, rainy weather of autumn here on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, the mid-summer flowers begin to wind down. Now's the time to do the last dyeings with them and dye with the late summer and early fall flowers.
Slugs love marigolds. We have slugs. Many slugs. Giant slugs. If I plant marigolds in the garden beds the slugs quickly strip them down to the thick central stem. So after a deer jumped over the fence and ate the early spinach I'd planted in garbage pails I planted marigolds in this place where I could better protect them. They've been great for dyeing all summer.
The Rudbeckia are beautiful at the end of summer and well into the fall.
A steam bath of bundles of silk with marigolds and Rudbeckia, mordanted with alum and with some copper sulphate over part of the bundles. When I'm steaming something strong smelling like marigolds or that might be toxic I do it on a hot plate on the deck.
Now the hard part! At least with steaming I usually only let them sit overnight before I open them up.
The final result. The bliss of dyeing!