Dyeing silk with blackberry



purple purse

Last week I dyed a fabric using blackberries picked in the woods near my house.

The image below is the fabrics I dyed with blackberry and a synthetic dye.  I made strips with all of those purple fabrics and wove a little purse (the image above).


<How I dyed silk with blackberry (natural dye)>

I prepared:

  •  4/5 cup of blackberry juice (I removed seeds with a strainer).
  • 50 grams of silk
  •  a pot

A mordant helps dyeing solidify.  I used mordant to dye the right hand silk above, which is darker than the other silk.

  • a table spoon of potassium aluminum sulfate, to be dissolved into a half liter of water.
  •  a bowl: silk will be soaked in the alum solution in this bowl


<Dyeing steps>

*If you do not use mordant, skip 5 and 6.

  1.  Make an alum solution: dissolve a table spoon of potassium aluminum sulfate in a half litler of hot water.  Let it get cooled down.
  2.  Soak the silk in warm water because prewetting fabric helps a dye spreads faster and more uniformly.
  3.  Warm up 1 liter of water in a pot, put 4/5 cup of blackberry juice and shake well.
  4.  Put the prewetting silk in 3. and boil it for 15 minutes.  Stir many times so that the silk is uniformly dyed.
  5.  Remove the silk from the pot, and rinse in fresh water.  Then, soak the silk in the alum water, and leave it for 5 minutes.
  6.  Pick up the silk from the alum water and rinse in fresh water.  Put the silk back to the pot, and boil it again for 15 minutes.
  7.  Turn off the fire and leave the silk until it gets cooled down.
  8.  Remove the silk from the pot, wash, spin in a wishing machine and hang it to get dry.

This was my first time to dye silk with blackberry and I do not know how the purple color will change over time.  I will watch out and let you know how the purple will stay or wear out.

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