First of all I hope it’s not too late to say Happy New Year, I can’t believe that was a week ago already.

The kinds of seaweed lying around on the beach here at Crossapol when the tides goes out seem to vary from day to day. I’ve been thinking about gathering some for making cold-dyed fabric bundles as shown in India Flint’s book Eco-Colour, but most of it is in large and heavy bunches and would require the kind of forethought that seems to be beyond me at the moment, such as taking a carrier bag along. However, yesterday there were some kinds of thin string-like weed, easy to carry and great, I thought, for wrapping bundles. I collected a small assortment and brought it home.

kinds of seaweed

I laid out most of the branched pieces with bladders on a piece of damp habotai silk …

ready to bundle 

… then rolled it up and wrapped it with the long flat pieces. There were a couple of little bits of the flat stuff left and one that is like string with just the odd bladder along its length – not branched, so I concertina-folded another small piece of silk, laid the flat weed inside the folds and wrapped this with the stringy piece.

seaweed wrappings

I sprayed the bundles with a mister, put them into a glass jar, covered it with a bit of plastic, and have put the jar outside for a while. India says at least a week and a month isn’t too long. I will check them daily in case they start to go mouldy but hope I can resist opening them up for a fortnight or more. My hands were a bit orange after I’d done this but as this is new to me I don’t know if that indicates anything about the final outcome.

ready to cure

Nothing to do with seaweed, but I couldn’t resist sharing these lovely fibres, merino and bamboo, in the colours of the winter machair with some sunset thrown in, which I got in my Christmas stocking, complete with bog myrtle soap bought at the Farmhouse Café here on Tiree. I’m told it’s good for eczema so I’m hoping it will be kind on the hands if I use it for felting.

fibres and soap

seaweed bundles

10 thoughts on “seaweed bundles

  • January 9, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I have never heard of dyeing with seaweed before, Fiona. I shall be looking in again with great interest. I hope it doesn’t go mouldy, that would be a shame.

    The fibres are gorgeous.

  • January 9, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Orange hands?Do you think that’s iodine?
    Rust or mud……….
    Interesting, keep us informed.

  • January 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    branched pieces with bladders-lovely description!
    keep us informed about seaweed dyeing.sounds fascinating.

    neki desu

  • January 11, 2009 at 1:16 am

    MMM! The seaweed in itself is necklaces. I don’t know if I could wait for a month to unwrap it all.

  • January 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Wow, can’t wait to see the results of the seaweed.

  • January 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    The orange on your fingers sounds very promising. That’s how I discovered that the pods from the New Zealand Flax plant in my garden were good for dyeing.

  • October 4, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Do you have any more detailed info, esp recipes on working with seaweed dyes? I will be working with sea weeds on the northern coast of California (Marin).

  • May 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Can you show the results of the seaweed dye? I’m really curious:-! Looks amazing. Or feel free to send me a picture directly

  • October 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I have dyed fibre with seaweed from coastal BC (Canada); boiling large quantities (stinks!) and then letting the dye bath sit for up to a week. On pre-mordanted (with alum) silk velvet and organza the colour is a greyish green. On premordanted acrylic yarn the colour was tan.

  • August 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve just used your tips to have a go at dyeing with seaweed. Thanks.

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