The late summer months bring a time of year that is lush with fresh flowers and plants to play with and admire. As we collect petals and leaves in our baskets we create an awareness of color, texture and smell with our children. Gifts from neighbor’s gardens, findings in abandoned fields and botanical treasures discovered in your own wild space become ingredients for dyeing your Playsilks in rich earthen hues.
1. Start by gathering your flowers. We used a collection of foraged geraniums (red and pink petals), mint leaves, lemon verbena and marigold (orange petals). Other flowers that share their color well are coreopsis, cosmos, hollyhock and many flowers in the asteraceae family.
2. Wet your silk and lay flat. Sprinkle with petals and leaves (or design a mandala!).Roll your silk into a tight tube, tucking your petals and leaves in as you go.
3. Fold your roll in half once and then again to make a bundle. Wrap tightly with string or twine to keep everything together and ready for steaming.
4. Take your bundle and wrap it in a used produce bag, using string to secure it again. The produce bag will help keep your silk from getting too soggy as it steams.
5. Set your bundle in a steamer basket and cover. Once boiling, turn your heat to very low and steam for 90 minutes.
6. Let cool and unwrap your masterpiece! Hang to dry out of direct sunlight. The petals and leaves will naturally come off when the silk is all dry. Using a small whisk broom to brush off excess plant material is also helpful.
May you find beauty and botanical wonder this August.
Sarah & Madlyn