Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mad Scientist

So I picked the 30 fruit from the Prickly Pear Cactus, very ripe fruit.
When I finished picking all the prickers from my fingers.....
 I put them in this old pickle jar and covered them with water to soak overnight.
The next morning, I put them through the blender, filled the jar to the near-top with water and set this outside in the sunshine so it will ferment for a few weeks!
WHY?  you ask.......
So I will have a wonderful natural dye for my wool!

Prickly pear juice is used as a natural dye. Betalain pigment was isolated from prickly pear (Fernandez-Lopez and Almela, 2001 and Forni et al., 1992), it is found also in red beets (Beta vulgaris). The betalains are a group of nitrogen containing pigments that are yellow, orange, pink, red and purple in color. Betalains have no toxic effects in the human body and are seen as a natural and safe alternative to synthetic red coloring

I will use the strained juice to dye some wool to spin to knit to wear!


  1. WOW!!!! That's right up my alley in terms of crazy. I can't wait to see the results.

  2. Oh this is a fun fun post. Soft yarn from a Prickly Pear flower. Cool very cool

  3. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......that is SO pretty a color red. I can't wait to see the yarn dyed up.

  4. Lovely red! And the tortoises like to eat those, don't they?

  5. whenever I hear prickly pear - the song of baloo comes into my mind:) so you need to use the claw to pick it, or pick a pawpaw instead! I hope you know that:) looking forward to the dyeing result - unfortunately prickly pears won't grow in ireland!


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