Cabbage Anyone?

I guess I’m late with this, should have experimented with cabbage a few weeks ago around St. Pat’s Day.

I had a half head of purple [red] cabbage that was going to waste so thought I would give it a go as a dye. Ron and I first took crinkled gauze scarves that were mordanted in alum and soda ash, chopped the cabbage and rolled them like eco dyeing. We cooked them along with the the cores, let them stay in the pot overnight and had a great dark pink since we used lemon juice with the water, as per Sasha Druer’s book.  We were super happy, until we rinsed them and lost nearly all the color. Bummer.

Not wanting to totally admit defeat, I put the pot back on the burner and scrunched in a pail yellow silk scarf , a scrap of white linen that had only been scoured and a yard of pale silver silk dupioni.  Remember, there are no mistakes with dyeing and surface design, just creative opportunities so if they failed, too, I wasn’t too worried.  The linen turned out  a nice pink, the yellow silk a nice golden color and the silver silk a luscious lavendar. Even the hemp we tied up the gauze with took the dye nicely. The scarves? Not so much. They will be wrapped with black beans and steamed to see what we get. The noticeable brown spots are from a tea bag I tossed into the dye pot. Until next time…..

purple cabbage dyeing