Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dyed with the Lipstick Plant (‘alaea)

The lipstick plant, otherwise known as annatto or bixa or ‘alaea, is found on the Big Island on the Hamakua Coast.
Photo © Gerald D. Carr, University of Hawaii Botany Department
(source URL: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/)
The seed is used commercially to give a yellow color to many foods including cheese.  I dyed this devore scarve using the seeds to see if there would be a difference in color between the silk background and the rayon design.  In the picture it looks like the background silk is a butter yellow and the design left white but in actuality the design is a light peachy-yellow. It's quite a pretty color that I haven't yet been able to get from synthetic dyes.
This will be one of the shawls I'll have at the Made in Hawaii Festival next weekend.  Stay tuned for a few more experiments with devore scarves and natural dyes.

No comments: