Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rose petals to dye with…….


Last fall I discover an Australian artisan and botanical alchemist, whose name is India Flint.  India is a master at dyeing fabrics with natural materials.  I wrote Here about experimenting with, and trying to figure out how to replicate a little of, what she does.

This week she blogged about using rose petals to dye paper.  She gives a brief description of taking rose petals and placing them between the pages of a beautiful book she made.  You can read about it on her blog "Prophet of Bloom" to learn more.

I was moved to experiment again!

Always, one to think I can figure out how to do anything (I must admit, it doesn't always work out as I hoped) I cut a large piece of watercolor paper into six pieces, then I went outside and cut dark red rose blossoms off my bush and some orange and yellow roses, as well,  just to make sure I had enough petals.  I pulled off the petal from the flower heads and placed them between the pieces of paper.

Next, I bundled the pages between two pieces of wood, smooshed it together and tied it up tight with string and put it into a simmering water bath for several hours. 

Here are the results right out of the water…..




The white textured background is the towel I laid them on to dry.  I hope you can see the different colors the roses petals transferred to the paper.






















I don’t know about you….but I had no idea that this little experiment with rose petals would result in such beautiful paper.

When I started, I was concerned that I did not have enough of the dark red rose petals so I added some pink and some orange petals to the mix.  I believe that is what gave the orange and yellow cast but I think the green may have come from the dark red petals.


  I just use a little point and shoot camera, so, the color reproduction, here,  isn’t as good as it could be.  That being said, you can see that the color is still very dynamic even after the paper dried (photos below)… less intense than the colors above, when the paper was still wet but still lovely.  Oh, and did I mention the paper smells good, too!












I think I’ll just admire this for a while……then I’ll make a book and fill it with favorite quotes!

India, also, has published two wonderful books.  I’m going back to the library to check out her book “Eco color”.  I have found I can learn on my own, but, it is always better to follow the lead of an expert in the field when you can.  If, you are interested in natural dyes, or any form of needle art, you should read this woman’s books and blog…she is a master of her craft.

I love gardening and plants and this is a fascinating extension of that!

I am linking this post to Julie’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday HERE since this was what was on my workdesk AND stove today!


505whimsygirl said...

Very cool! I love the different colors. I may try this with some flowers in my backyard -- although right now there is only honeysuckle blooming - and russian sage. This will be interesting to see what happens.

Kay #138

jill said...

intresting looking back ground on your paper that you've created. happy crafting jill #64

india flint said...

thank you so much for your kind words
- love the paper you dyed!

Julie said...

Oh, how cool was this!!! I am going over to read her blog now! She loves two things I great is that??? Thanks! Enjoy your gorgeous new sweet smelling papers!!! I will have to give it a go as well...

Helen said...

amazing!! Happy WOYWW - Helen, 8

HeARTworks said...

How interesting! I've read about pounding petals to transfer the color to paper, but not this technique! Thanks for sharing! Patsy from

Eliza said...

What a fantatic result you had with your roses, I must give it a go one day, thanks for sharing.

Eliza #140

Valerie said...

what an interesting idea! So creative! I would really like the smell of the papers! Hope you plan to share what you make with these papers! Valerie #174