Having used kawakawa leaves for my explorations of direct printing I was very excited about the prospect of obtaining colour from them & by using home made soy milk as a mordant to pretreat the fabric & the muka*.
We trimmed some overhanging branches & I cut the leaves off, but initially left the leaf attached to the stem.
I put them in the pot, covered them with water from our rain water tanks & gently heated them to a simmer.
I let them simmer gently for an hour, turned off the heat & let them steep overnight.
The next day I strained the leaves thru a sieve, removed the stems & cut them into smaller pieces & repeated the heating/cooling process.
I cut off 2 x 10cm square pieces of fabric (1 linen & 1 cotton/linen blend) & 2 lengths of muka from my pre mordanted stash.
Plopped the fabric & muka in & gently heated it to just below simmer & held it there for an hour, turned off the heat & let it cool down in the liquor & steep for 2 days.
I removed the swatches & the muka, hung them out to dry & left them in the shade for a week before I rinsed them in water with a small amount of a mild soap & then hung them to dry.
I transferred the dye liquor to one of the larger stainless steel pots so as to accommodate some larger pieces of fabrics.
I submerged my linen fabric in 1st, gently heated it & held it just below simmer for 1 hour, stirring it every so often just to keep it moving in the dye bath & turned off the heat & then left it in the dye bath overnight, removed it the next morning & hung it up to dry in the shade.
I am extremely happy with the colour of both pieces of fabric & the muka.
The colour of the linen is slightly lighter than the cotton/linen blend fabric but both are what I would call a light mushroom colour.
I have a series of works in mind for these pieces of fabric but I'll wait a few weeks longer to see if the colour changes at all.
I have ironed both pieces just to see whether or not direct heat caused any changes & it didn't.
As you can see from the photos the muka has retained it's beautiful silky sheen.
Although I like the colour of the muka I've not been instantly inspired by it, so will just keep it close by & watch to see if it changes with time.
A lovely way to spend autumn days & now I'll probably wait til spring to I get my dye pots bubbling away again.