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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Dyer's Chamomile

I have lots of dyer's chamomile in the garden as it has self-seeded all over the place.  I regularly pick off the flowers and dry them in paper bags then store them.  They make a really lovely bright yellow with alum.  But the one thing I'd never tried was dyeing with the leaves and stems.  Apparently it's possible to get green from them, but I didn't quite manage that, it's a sort of slightly greenish yellow.  More experimentation needed.

The silk moth is still alone - no more have emerged yet.  Yesterday I cut off the stained bit of the cocoon, and emptied out the contents :-

Lovely colour inside the cocoon.

and this is what was inside - the old skin, plus, I think the other bit is the old face from the silkworm.  They shed their faces as well as their skins.

Correction : it was the whole worm skin, all squashed up.


  1. That dyers chamomile looks lovely! I must have a go at growing some dye plants. How strange to find the silk worm's face in the cocoon! Its a strange thing metamorphosis! :)

  2. Yes it was a bit strange. At least I THINK it's the silkworm's face. Just hope I get some more moths hatching soon. This poor thing's all by itself and really doesn't have a purpose in life.

  3. Just for the record, it wasn't just the silkworm's face in the cocoon (although they DO shed their faces during their development), it's actually the whole silkworm skin, just scrunched up.