Saturday, August 03, 2013

Natural Dyeing Thursday

Continuing our Summer project, my friend Margie and I got together again to do some natural dyeing this past Thursday.  This, of course, is always experimentation, and we never quite know how things will turn out.  Margie's fibers on the left were all mordanted in alum and none of mine on the right were mordanted.  You can see a difference, as hers were much brighter and more pink.  These are some of our things hanging out to dry.

We tried Brazilwood again.  The week before, we discovered that we had mistakenly used a natural dye extract and our dyebath was over the top too strong, resulting in very dark colors, almost black -- not what we expected.  This week, we used Brazilwood sawdust and achieved plums and pinks.  

We also did a marigold dyebath that was half dried flower tops that I purchased and half from marigold flower tops I had collected from my garden and dried.  We got some nice golds, both light and dark.

Below are my Brazilwood skeins.  They are mostly superwash merino wool and were unmordanted. I think the fact that my skeins were superwash wool and Margie's were handspun wool made a difference. They were all put in an ammonia afterbath.  From top to bottom shows the strength of the dyebath as it became exhausted.  The bottom skein is an alpaca/silk laceweight yarn that turned out to be a very light silvery lilac.
These are my marigold skeins.  Mostly super wash merino wool and unmordanted.  The top two skeins were left in the dyebath for a long time so were a dark gold.  The top skein was put in an ammonia afterbath and the second skein in a copper afterbath.  The third skein was put in the dyebath for a lesser amount of time and then in the ammonia afterbath.  The fourth skein is alpaca/silk laceweight yarn and was put in last and then in the ammonia afterbath.  

Haven't quite figured out what to do next -- maybe madder root, Hopi black sunflower seeds or another type of eucalyptus.  Whatever we do, we can agree on one thing:  we're having fun.  


Taos Sunflower said...

Glad you're having fun doing this. The best thing about natural dyes is that all the colors you get will work together (Mother Nature is one smart cookie.)

ARTISUN said...

Hi Lori, good to see you back to blogging, was wondering what you've been up to. Really enjoying your dye experiments. Was wondering why the ammonia bath at the end?