Our summer solstice celebrations

Posted on June 26, 2022Comments Off on Our summer solstice celebrations

Solstices are interesting days. In winter I long to see more and more light during the day, in summer I crave to feel more and more coolness of nights. Simple celebrations of solstices are new to me. We have celebrated just few of them since I became more and more aware of present moment and of my weather related mood changes. This year I have chosen fabric dying to celebrate.

Funnily, we started this year summer solstice celebration last year. Let me explain…

The plan was to make a fabric garland to hang on our loggia to decorate it, make some shade and nice movable object during breezy and windy days. I intended to use the technique of wax-resist dyeing and also dye fabrics with natural dyes. But it took me quite a long time to get into learning at least a little about natural fabric dying.

A year ago

old T-shirts

I grabbed few old T-shirts and made a “pattern” for cutting. The “pattern” was just an A4 size sheet of paper.


Pieces are cut.


Waiting for wax to be melted above a candle in my aroma lamp.

waxing fabrics

We worked on an old baking sheet so it is easy to clean if necessary. B. applies hot wax with our new tool – brass canting – for the first time.

waxing fabric

I try to apply wax with a paintbrush. The wax cools down so quickly.

And that’s it. We have come so far last year.

Fabric dying last week

I took waxed fabrics out of my unfinished projects basket last week. And continued where I had finished.

dying solution

Dye bath of common mallow (Malva mauritiana L. Mauritiana).

dyed fabrics

The effect was not great. All the fabrics where slightly lightly brown. So I decided to use curcuma.

Fabric dying – second try

salt bath

All the fabrics dipped in the salt bath while curcuma dye bath is boiling.

curcuma dye bath

While boiling I added a bag to dye.

curcuma dye bath

Fabrics in the curcuma dye bath. It was necessary to dye them cold otherwise the was would melt. I let them sit there for about 24 hours.

dyed products

These are the dyed products. Color of the bag that was boiling does not have such a vibrant color like the fabrics.

removing wax

My removing wax working station. Kitchen table. Between a bowl for water and a bowl B. did not clean up after his snack. Between dried marjoram and a napkin holder. Newspapers absorb iron melted wax.

hanging fabrics

Hanging fabrics drying after a wash.



Patterns we waxed have been dyed at some extent. They are not white as I expected, they are lighter yellow. Wax left greyish and greenish stains on fabrics which look like mold.

pizza dye

B. said this piece looks like pizza. Overall, I like the color, it is beautifully yellow and orange – it varies, depending on the quality of T-shirt fabric. I am sure I will dye with curcuma more, I got interested in natural fabric dying. I think I will never ever do this kind of wax-resist dyeing.

fabric garland