Friday, July 15, 2011

Fennel Dye

In preparation for tomorrow's workshop at Richmond Grows I started a fennel dye today. Yesterday as I was out and about picking up some rusty objects (post on that coming soon) when I saw a nice clump of fennel growing in the parking lot. After asking I harvested a bunch and brought it home with me.

Today I threw the leaves and flowers into a 5L glass jar and poured hot water over the leaves. I'll let this steep and stew overnight and tomorrow during the workshop we'll boil up the leaves with our fibers.

With so much fennel growing everywhere, this makes sense as a wonderful dye for our area. But, always be sure to ask the landowner before you go out with your clippers. Another very important point is that this plant, though introduced and invasive, is a very important habitat species. It is the host plant for the Anise Swallowtail butterfly. After checking in with the land-owner also be sure to avoid harvesting caterpillar eggs along with your dyestuff.

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