Saturday, December 18, 2010

the pomegranate story

Amidst stitching up sachets, pressing towels, and filling orders, I had time for a little dye experiment this past week. Pomegranates left over from our thanksgiving festivities were chopped up, and put to simmer for a few hours. The concoction turned into an interesting shade of grayish, pink-purple, but the cloth placed within came out a beautiful golden greenish tan, pending on the type of fabric.

I love to try new things so before submerging some of the fabric I covered them with leaf prints, using whipped up egg as my "ink" and a leatherleaf viburnum leaf as my printing plate. Once placed in the dye bath the parts printed with the egg mixture reacted stronger to the dye in those places. Quite beautiful and amazing to me...

white silk leaf printed with egg mixture before pomegranate dye

 egg mordant prints on linen after pomegranate dye

egg mordant prints on silk after pomegranate dye

I may not be able to post again before Christmas, so I'll leave you with my warmest wishes for a light filled, peaceful, and joyous holiday season!


  1. thank you for this Lotta,
    did you just use egg white or all the egg whipped?
    This is certainly something I will try and my pomegranate tree is growing und hopefully I will have fruit from it soon.
    Did you boil/simmer the fabric for about 1/2 hr or more?
    All the best for the festive season

  2. Oh Lotta this is interesting and new for me. Such a beautifull result. Now I know what there will be at my Christmasdiner. Btw do you have a good recepie for with pomegranate?

  3. I love pomegranates. I would have expected the dye to com out red instead of green....funny.

  4. Madeline - I did use the whole egg, but I think it would work with just the whites too. I simmered the fabric for about 2 hours - I am not good with the timing so don't know if less or more time is better. Dorie - I have a good recipe for pomegranate, a wonderful sallad:


     4 1/2 to 5 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (from about one 2-lb. squash)
     2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
     Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
     Coarse kosher salt
     2 tablespoons orange juice
     1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil or other nut oil
     1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
     4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed)
     1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
     1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
     2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses*

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash, olive oil, and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast 15 minutes. Using spatula, turn squash over. Roast until edges are browned and squash is tender, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with coarse salt. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
    Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Spoon warm or room temperature squash over salad. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and serve.
    * A thick pomegranate syrup; available at some supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets, and from

  5. pomegranate slices [if you can bear not to eat them] print delightfully too. i experimented with the egg-as-mordant thing some years ago when the enterprising Max [a feline with a passion for eggs] hurled quite a few of them at the floor. i found that yolks [being rich in sulphur] tended to make darker marks than the whites...but have to admit i never thought of printing the shapes on with leaves as you have [being utterly besotted with the ecoprint itself]...simply drew and painted with the eggy goo.
    well done!

  6. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. Best wishes for the festive season.

  7. you have created not only a stunning print but such a visual step by step post...
    happy holidays my friend .. enjoy!

  8. Perhaps if you don't let the dye boil you might retain more red.

  9. such a delicious salad, thx Lotta - shall copy it and search for all the ingredients here. And give the technique you have described a go (there are some leaves which won't give an ecoprint because of the thickness) and as India said will try to make drawings with it. Like to learn new things. In a few months there are a lot of goose-eggs. Last year I have throw away all the yolks, but now I know better. Like to thank you for the inspirational posts this year, looking forward for more next year and wish you a lovely cosy Christmas & holidaytime

  10. this is so interesting. your heart must have soared as the prints were revealed. really really nifty.

  11. Just beautiful - love the green and the way the leaves came up so strong after being submerged.

  12. Pomegranates are such gorgeous looking fruits, I have used them for inspiration for screenprinting onto fabric. I was really interested to read that you have used egg as your 'ink'.
    The results look stunning.
    Happy Christmas to you and hope you have a peaceful joyous season as well.

  13. wow. those turned out spectacular. you're so clever!
    happy holidays!

  14. What wonderful photos, and the use of egg as an ink is very interesting! Beautiful results.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  15. I love the exploration part of being an artist! How marvelous!

    Merriest of Christmases Lotta!

    PS maybe we can find a time in the new year to meet up in person?

  16. Simply beautiful!
    Have a wonderful time over the festive season and a warm and welcoming Happy New Year.

  17. Dear Lotta,

    I loved the pomegranate story and the result. How wonderful to experiment like that, and to be able to allow the elements to create the result by a natural cause! Would be amazing to be a 'student' under your wing and just watch and learn as you create these amazing things!!

    Darling, I really just wanted to pop in and say God Jul to you and the family. And now I revert to native tongue.. Det har varit sa roligt att lara kanna dig under 2010, och fa se dina vackra arbeten utvecklas. Vilket spannade ar du har haft. Sa mycket som har hant fran utstallningar, till barn som borjar college, till besoket hemifran osv. Tanker ocksa ofta pa dina fina djur vanner som var tvungna att lamna dig under aret, men vet att det ger plats till nya sjalar att ta del av ditt liv.

    Det vore roligt att ha lite mer regelbunden kontakt under nasta ar.

    Stor kram och gott slut pa 2010, och onskningar om ett bra 2011 for dig och din familj!

    Charlotta xx

  18. Feliz Navidad Lotta, from all team BORNAY!!!

  19. such an inspiring story! and i too am amazed at the green and not red out come! i have never dyed anything before except teadying but i am always amazed at the wonderful colors of fruits and veges...i am going to have to experiement now! thanx

  20. that is all so great...
    i was stopping by to say hello
    and merry christmas

  21. What a beautiful result -- you must be thrilled. Egg white is so protein rich and also the perfect consistency for holding the detail of the leaf.

  22. I am amazed about the detail that you get with it. I haven't got pomegranate but will try with other dyes. Thanks for posting this.

  23. I am rereading all of your older posts, trying to learn as much as possible about your eco printing and dyeing techniques. This post is particularly interesting, as I've been exploring the use of egg for a while now....and I love pomegranates!
    Thank you so much!



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