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so... gardening
7 trips or shoot the rapids
skorzy From: skorzy Date: July 25th, 2004 08:09 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Isn't Pokeberry used in indigo dyeing? I see those weeds all OVER the place out here.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: July 25th, 2004 10:25 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Technically, no. Indigo is used in indigo dyeing, and it like a hotter climate than we have here (think India). Woad likes our temperate climate more than indigo does, and it also contains indigotin, but at a lower concentration. The problem with woad is that is propagates like crazy, and is illegal in several states because it's classified as a noxious weed. It's legal here in Massachusetts, but I also don't want something that will choke out everything else.

Pokeberries can be used in dyeing, though, and I've read that it yields colors from bright fuschia to magenta to raspberry, depending on the concentration of berries and the acidity of the dyebath. Apparently if you overdye with indigo, you get purples (indigo is alkaline). There's an interesting article here (http://www.hillcreekfiberstudio.com/Resrch&Wrtngs.html at the bottom of the page) about how to make some really astonishing and colorfast dyes with pokeberries and acetic acid solution.

The other thing I'm trying to stick with is plants that are also found in Europe. That way, when I use the dyes for the SCA, I'm that much closer to accuracy. Are pokeberries also native to Europe, do you know? I'd not be averse to trying them, but I'd rather gather in the wild than cultivate them.
7 trips or shoot the rapids