I have been dying with eucalyptus for a while, so decided it is about time I share some of my experiences. I usually if I can find use Eucaliptus Cinerea, sometimes dried or other times fresh, as it gives the best colours.
Eucaliptus does not need a mordant as it is a mordant too and this variety gives beautiful bright colours between reds and oranges to silk. I usually wash the silk first as apparently is sold with some kind of product in it that prevents the dye from taking as well. i also when boiling it I dont let it go over 86 degrees Celsius so it does not damage the silk.
Now I either boil some of the leaves first to give colour to the water or just boil the bundle so I get just the leaf markings on the silk.
I rolled some of the leaves on the fabric, then roll it to a narrow band and around a copper pipe. I boiled some leaves in a pot with water for about half hour added the bundle and left to simmer below 85 degrees Celsius for half hour and switch the cooker off and the bundle stayed in the liquid till the next day when it was totally cooled. At the same time I did the same to a piece of cotton scrimp but it did not work, barely took any colour so I assume it needs more time and I will try again. the silk i used was PAJ.
The copper pipe unfortunately did not give any of the markings that other bits of copper give.
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For these two pieces I used the folding method and clamped it with bull clips so that I can get some markings on the fabric.
Photo 1 you can just see inside the fabric a piece of copper that should also leave nice markings in the fabric. There are leaves oe eucalyptus cinerea inside as well as red leaves from a plant in my garden to see if it gives out colour. The eucalyptus leaves some are reused from a previous boil and others are new leaves. Apparently when you boil the eucalyptus leaves you can keep them for further dyeing purposes but it will not give out a orange/red colour but a dark colour.
These on the left are the fabrics obtained from Example 2, they are darker due to using a few metal bull clips for keeping it together and also as I reused some of the leaves from a previous bath the colours from these leaves came out on the green side. Orange/red colours are the new leaves. Far left example is PAJ silk and the one on the left is silk tissue fabric.