- First, I left the linen in hand-warm water for 30 minutes. After that I put the dock seeds and around 10 oak galls to boil and added the linen to the dye bath. The tanin from the oak galls acts like a mordant, helping the colors to print onto the linen. The dock seeds can be used to dye yarn, they give a nice light camel color on wool. I did not have enough galls or seeds to actually produce a strong color, but my aim was just to dye that bright white linen into something more natural. I left the pot to simmer for about one hour and a half, I removed it from the fire and left it to cool overnight.
- Meanwhile, the berries, the flowers and the leaves went into the freezer for about 24 hours.
- Next day in the evening I removed the linen from the cold dye-bath and rinsed with only water. I unfolded the linen on a towel (it was still wet) and I started to play with the frozen plant material. On half the linen's length I placed the leaves and covered with the other half. The flowers went on top, again on half of the length and covered with the other half. The last layer were the frozen berries that I pressed with my hand to help release the color.
- Gently I pulled the corners of the linen to the middle and over the berries. Using a rolling pin I pressed and crashed as much of the berries into the linen. I made a bundle and I firmly tied it with rope.
- My first plan was to left the eco-bundle into a plastic bag outside for some sun dyeing. I forgot that Netherlands does not have sun, has only sun between the clouds. After 2 days of hoping for some real sun I gave up and, since I dont have a steamer, I improvised one. I left the bundle to steam for about one hour and after that I left it to cool without removing the cover. When cold I unpacked and rinsed in water with some salt added.
I still have some linen left... and I saw some blackthorn berries some place around here ...