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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dyeing with mangosteen skins

Recently the mangosteen season was at it's peak and we enjoyed eating the delicious fruit.

For those who don't know mangosteen, it is a tropical fruit, covered by a thick maroon skin and the white pieces inside, is the part that we eat.

I collected all the skins, knowing that they are very rich in tannin, which is of course interesting for natural dyeing.

I dried some of the skins for future use. We had so many though that I thought I needed to find another way of storage because of lack of space.

I first soaked the skins in a bucket with water. Than I boiled the skins to extract even more colour than in the cold water.

I decided to dye my white nuno felted dress in cotton and wool in this dyebath ( after removing the skins) and brought it to the boil. I did not use any mordant. Here is the result, still a bit pale; I might dye over it again later:

I now have stored the remaining liquid in our freezer and will see how that will be going. I hope one day to find a way to get a beautiful maroon out of this. I have put some mangosteen skins in the freezer and want to try the cold technique with them later.


Helen said...

I love the colour. Soft and subtle.
I had never even heard of this fruit and that you could dye with it. This is what I love about natural dyeing there is always something to learn.

lizet frijters said...

Hi Helen, I think this is more appropriate to dye with for people who are in the tropics, as the fruits are quite expensive. I am looking more and more for local sources and I don't find much published about dye plants in the tropics. So I am doing my own exploration.

lynda Howells said...

I agree with you Lizet, l am trying to use things from my own area but l can still wish they grew here!Haxx think we had these when we lived in PNG. x lynda

lizet frijters said...

I understand, Lynda, I sometimes long for all these beautiful plants from in Europe, like the maple, where you all get such a beautiful prints with. Then I turn back to what is here, as there is so much to explore still. I will never be bored.

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