First Wood Sorrel/Oxalis of the season

My standard yellow dye plants are Fennel (for wool) and Oxalis (cotton, wool, soy silk).

DSC_0484_ladybugs Oxalis_DSC_0482

The first Oxalis opened up a few days ago. Locally the Fennel produces through most through what would be our Summer months (Pacific, southwest USA), starts to dry and dies out around Autumn. Following that the Wood Sorrel/Oxalis starts up, runs rampant through the Winter into Spring and dies out towards summer when the Fennel starts up again.

This being southern California the seasons are hot and dry, and really hot and dry punctuated by a furious rain storm or two. In fact, left to itself I am guessing much this area would be more desert like. (In case one forgets this idea, having a car breakdown in the San Fernando Valley, in July, around high noon, is a heck of a wakeup call…) Most of the years I grew up here the weather was at least consistant with itself but lately has gotten incresingly volitile (and just plain wierd).

Otherwise, the cotton is still opening and some smaller (cotton) plants have been started for next year.

2 Responses to “First Wood Sorrel/Oxalis of the season”


  1. 1 Malice November 28, 2008 at 6:37 am

    When you dye wool, is it color fast??

  2. 2 jmjamison November 28, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Fennel and Oxalis seem to be pretty color fast. I did try leaving some samples outside during the summer as a test and the color held up.

    Before dying the wool is scoured and pre-alumed. When you rinse the wool after dying, some color will wash out but after that initial rinse the color seems stable.

    Finished wearables I usually wash in the sink with something like ‘soak’ or sometimes in the washing machine on gentle cycle in a net bag (work socks for example). Yellow (Fennel, Oxalis, Onion skin) and Red/Orange (Madder, Eucalyptus leaves) haven’t run in the wash. Indigo did run a bit but that could have been my fault – Indigo seems to really need lots of post-dye bath rinse.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: