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Textiles naturales > Blog > Uncategorized > March dyeplants –…

March dyeplants – Gorse


1 March 2013. Today, here at Anna Champeney Textile Studio in north Spain, we´re dyeing with sprays of flowering gorse for a special weave project.  Strong gardening gloves are required to cut this spiky plant.  Gorse (Ulex europaeus), o toxo in Galician Spanish, is an interesting plant to use.

Harvest the plant when it´s in flower and dry it for later use if you like, as long as it´s in a dry place where the plant won´t get mouldy.

The yellow obtained with alum fixer isn´t especially bright, according to my experience as a dyer.  But other mordants can produce more saturated colours.  I use gorse, chiefly, in combination with indigo, to obtain a lovely cool mint green.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGorse is extremely plentiful in the mountains where I live in north Spain.  It was used as a form of green manure by my neighbours in the past and was even sown especially for this reason, believe it or not.  Now it is a weed, slowly encroaching on abandoned fields.

For me it is a wonderful, sustainable source of dye which is perfectly recyclable:  after extracting the dye with boiling water I simply put it on the compost heap.  What could be simpler or more environmentally-friendly way to create beautiful textiles.

You can find hand-woven textiles with natural dyes on sale at Anna Champeney Estudio Textil.  More information about Anna´s texile work can be found on her design blog and you can keep in touch with her via her facebook page.



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