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Entries in natural dyes 草木染め (4)


natural dyestuffs on display at the miho museum

these dye materials were on display at the gift shop of the miho museum, which is a lovely art museum in a stunning site.

the top left is 'miscanthus tinctorius' or kari yasu  かりやす in japanese (a reed that produces a yellow dye). the top right is 'philodendron' or kihada きはだ黄檗(the bark produces a yellow dye). the small cones in forefront are labled yasha やしゃ 矢車 in japanese only. more information about dyeing with these alder cones used for brown dyes described here.

a lot of this is my best (non-native-speaker) guessing. if you know more or better, please feel to share. mostly, i was impressed and delighted to find this sort of display, that included the dyestuff itself, the japanese name for it in both kanji and phonetic kana, and english!!



gobaishi 五倍子 ごばいし

at one of the natural wool classes at my favorite wool store in kyoto, kin no hitsuji, we dyed wool with gobaishi, ごばいし 五倍子 a japanese gall that is created on japanese sumac (i was a little complicated and hard to understand in japanese!!). with just alum and gobaishi, it didn't really change the color too much, but with iron, it turned a lovely heathery purple.
the gobaishi galls boiled for an hour in a mesh bag, they turned mushy
into the pot with iron added



the outcome.
if anybody out there knows more about gobaishi, i'd love to hear from you!


natural plant dying at oohara kobo 大原工房(おおはらこぼう)

this is the view of oohara kobo, 大原工房(おおはらこぼう) a plant dye workshop in oohara, 大原(おおはら) which is a small town an hour north of kyoto. they offer both natural plant dyeing and natural indigo dying, which i've included in the indigo workshop journal.

oohara kobo 大原工房 おおはらこうぼう

address: 327 Kusao-cho, Ohara, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City 京都府京都市左京区大原草生町327

phone: 075-744-3138

hours: 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m; closed: wednesday; no website

*from 500 yen, you can dye a hankerchief, or you can choose from a variety of silk scarves, etc. it's also posible to bring your own items to dye. since the dying takes place outdoors, it's only possible to do during summer when the weather is mild.

access: from kyoto JR station, take kyoto city bus number 17 towards oohara (大原) 57 minutes, alternativiely, you can take kyoto city bus number 19, which leaves from 地下鉄烏丸線国際会館前駅 subway station and takes 22 minutes to reach oohara. when you arrive in oohara, it's a 20 minute walk.

i was really excited to try their dye course (summer 2007). my mom and i stayed overnight at a nearby traditional japanese onsen ryokan, and went here on sunday morning. it was great. the owner spoke some english, and gave us lots of information (more so when we kept asking detailed questions!).

this is the view from their back porch, with dyed cotton hanging.
inside the shop/example area of the workshop, showing all the scarves and colors available.
in the dye shed, with the proprietor at the stove. he was a very entertaining fellow.

yarn dyed with loquat, or japanese medlar, or biwa びわ in japanese.
madder plant (grown very very locally). in japanese akane.

traditional cotton spinning wheel in use. they grow a small amount of their own cotton.

oohara is an easy day trip from kyoto, with beautiful scenery and a very lovely temple.



dyeing with marigolds at kin no hitsuji

my spinning and dyeing class last week was great! i love my wool store, and it was very cool to take a class there, in the same space they use for dyeing. here's the teacher, pouring out our wool dyed with marigolds. in the dyeing kitchen.