I used dyeing instructions from a wonderful Australian book, sadly out of print, "Dyemaking with Eucalypts" by Jean K. Carmen, published 1978 by Rigby Ltd. I am lucky that a 2nd hand copy turned up in the U.K. This book is especially good because it is the result of a decade's research by the author using 240 different Australian Eucalypt species. It's not a big book, and it's not a heavy read. Dyeing with Eucalypt leaves and following Jean Carmen's book is just like having a knowledgeable friend at your side.
My Eucalypt leaves, being from a Tasmanian tree, are not included in this book! However, I did use the dyeing method Jean Carmen recommends. The dried leaves were broken and soaked in water for 24 hours. The water in the pan was yellow-gold from this cold soak, even before I heated the pan and simmered it for 2 hours. I then drained the liquid into a second bowl, discarding the leaves, before dyeing my wool. My sister was staying with me and had the fun of adding the iron after-mordant and observing the colour changing before her eyes.
The tree sadly had to be cut down, it was a very big gum tree to be growing in a small town garden. Maybe it was planted by a flower arranger who had intended to keep it cut back? I understand that flower arrangers do this in order to keep a good supply of the juvenile foliage. Eucalypt leaves on new growth are round, but the mature tree produces pointy leaves.
I've also been dyeing with buddleia flowers from our garden. I used the superwashed merino again, pre-mordanted as above. These two pictures show an intersting effect of simmering buddleia flowers... they lose their colour and turn white! I've not observed this with any other flower.
I like the colours that buddleia gives. The photo here shows samples (from top) with iron after mordant, without any after mordant, and, at bottom, with tin.
I am very interested to have obtained a yellow-green with the tin. If you look at the Eucalypt above, tin gave a stronger yellow. In my post of 23rd July, you see how it turned a yellow-green from nettle to a gold-brown, and pale yellow from Feverfew to bright orange. This is the first time I've seen it turn yellow to green. The chemistry involved in dyeing with plant stuffs is clearly rather complex.