Today, my little ones and I are dying several articles of clothing with a lovely bright yellow, obtained from the many peach tree leaves that have recently blanketed the yard. Autumn is coming, and the cold breezes together with heavy rain have been very handy in knocking them down for our use!
If you have never attempted dyeing with peach leaves, it is not difficult. Fill your dye pot with leaves, and water to cover. Set over the fire to simmer – about an hour should do. Strain out the leaves, and then add your cloth stuffs, giving care to stir frequently, lest the color be uneven. I do feel that a bit of alum helps to set the color.
Mrs. Child’s advice is excellent as always, and I have found this method to work well for obtaining a very nice shade of yellow. It gives a most bright and cheerful color that looks very nice for children’s clothing.
I find the final shade to be brighter and lighter than that derived from onion or beggarstick. It is bolder and more fast than goldenrod.
One thing that always delights me when dyeing with peach leaves is the very strong smell of almond that fills the air when the peach leaves are simmering. It is a most pleasant and distinctive odor. By the time the dye bath is full ready, the scent will be quite dissipated, and that can help to discern when the full amount of dye has been obtained from the leaves.
Do be very certain to strain the bath well through a tight muslin. Any speck of vegetable matter that should escape to settle on the fabric being dyed may create a darker place that might be objectionable in the finished article.
If you have experience dyeing with peach leaves, please feel most welcome to share your advice in the comments below. Encouragement and help are most welcome for those who may be trying this for the first time!