Sunday, April 22, 2012

oak gall dye





Last week we gathered some friends and dyed some fabric with these gorgeous oak galls that a friend harvested up in Ukiah. Oak galls are growths on oak trees created by interaction of the plant hormones with the chemicals the wasp deposits. The wasps lay their eggs in the newly formed leaf buds and the gall results. The gall is a  contained space for the wasp's larvae to hatch and a food source for the larvae. The dye has been historically used across Europe and the Americas to create ink and brown, grey, and black dyes. Because the galls have alot of tannic acid they were used for tanning animal leathers. We dyed some cotton sheets and some silk scarves over a wood burning stove.





1 comment:

Chloe Newman said...

Good afternoon, I am hoping one of you can help me!

My names Chloe and I work for a company called Centre Screen Productions in Manchester, we are currently working on a project for the Lincoln Castle about the signing of the Magna Carta, part of the film involved us showing the process of making the ink from Oak Gall.

We are shooting this next week and unfortunately the galls we purchased are just not big enough (they are around 1cm and we need more like 5cm) and the delivery time to buy them from elsewhere is a minimum of 2 weeks.

What I was hoping you could help us with your obvious extensive knowledge on the subject is where could I find them? As I mention we are based in Manchester so somewhere in the North West would be best, or what would be absolutely amazing is if any of you had any you could send us?

I understand this is short notice and quite a big ask from us but we are struggling with this, we would be more than happy to pay for any that you might be able to send us or any info on where you think I should be looking would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.