For the past few years, I’ve been walking through this berry bush, and I recognized them while browsing Jenny Dean’s book, Wild Color, and learned that they are not mahonia berries. The next day I went back to pick up a small amount of berries to make a dye.
It gives the berry color very quickly and the fabric also takes on color quickly. I read that this is a sign that the color will fade on the fabric, so it may not be the best paint to use for something to be washed, but it was fun to experiment.
This dye is very sensitive to pH and turns lilac gray when washed in tap water. The following examples show the results of various changes such as iron water and vinegar.
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