Harvesting Color — Hops

I’m putting bracken on hold a bit to see if I can get more photos this weekend at Sievers. And the hops dye was an interesting first-time effort for me. Here’s what I got.

Cotton rug warp dyed with hops leaves and vines

I lost a bit of the color in the wash, but am still quite happy with the color. I dyed two more skeins of the cotton with the hops dye saddened with iron, but apparently didn’t photograph them. Yet.

The hops are thanks to my homebrewing husband. Hops are used to flavor beer and act as a preservative. We were a bit late on the hops harvest this year, but better late than never.

Bill pulled down the vines for me, and I plucked the hops. Right now, he’s making a batch of hops soda for me (kind of grapefruity-bitter — I love it!).

After plucking the hops, I put the leaves and vines in a pot. It was a couple of days before I actually got water added to that pot. Then a couple more days before I simmered that pot. Still, I don’t think the delay was the reason that simmering pot stunk up the joint.

Most of my homebrewed natural dyes have a pleasant fragrance. This one produced a color I like well enough to put up with the stink while it’s brewing.

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin

2 thoughts on “Harvesting Color — Hops”

  1. While driving from Fort Worth to Amarillo and then on to Pueblo, CO, I listened to an audio book. It was one of the Maisie Dobbs series, in which the setting is in England right after the first World War. Part of the plot was the annual hops harvesting. Londoners would travel with their families and harvest the hops along with the locals and bands of gypsies. It was very interesting. Oh, and there was even a bit of tapestry weaving in the book.

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