Saturday, 6 November 2010

A Calm Day….

So having given up on the puns surrounding madder, but needing to conclude the experiment here is the final bow from the catwalk..

Madder - Natural Dyeing

From Left to Right – and hope this isn’t too complicated..I have put them in pairs, the first one being the output from the bath,the second one being the saddened with 5% iron.  You can vaguely see the pegs on top, each one being one dye sample.

Dye Bath 1: Lovely deep red – first dye bath, after soaking chips (inadvertently for a week rather than 24 hours). Straining and adding fibre to the liquor – chips retained.
Exhaust from Dye Bath 1: Peach – liquor left over from first dye bath.
Dye Bath 2: Dark Peach – fresh water poured over chips from first dye bath, left overnight and then process repeated, fibre added to liquor – chips retained.
Dye Bath 3: Wine coloured – fresh water poured over chips – left overnight, reheated to a higher temperature and then fibre added to liquor and chips.
Dye Bath 4: Darker Wine coloured – more water poured over chips and boiled vigorously for 3 hours. 

(I have realised this is incredibly complicated – even for me, so am going to draw on them, and scan in when I have a moment for those who are interested). 

Whilst all this was going on, I get on with the Dyer’s Chamomile

Dyer's Chamomile

Nom, nom…. A beautiful golden yellow.

So have put the strained flowerheads back on to heat, simmering for approx 2 hours, I have some gorgeous colours left for a second dye bath tomorrow. 

Because I have decided I am going to give indigo and woad a go next week, I am going to overdye the fustic and chamomile I have so far to see what sort of greens will appear. 

Madder - Natural Dyeing

Before I leave the madder totally, here is a photo of just the Dyebath products.
Left to right – DB1, exhaust,DB2, DB3, DB4, in front is the wool I dyed from the Madder Extract Dyebath from DT Crafts.  It seems to be closest to DB2.

What was interesting is that I have used all the same wool here (superwash 56s – worried about felting possibilities) and this wool has consistently dyed deeper than ordinary untreated wool. 

So what next?  I am spinning up some beautiful Victorian Velvet from Mandacrafts.  I bought some of this a couple of years ago, and another 100 gram last week, so am spinning one bag up on one set of bobbins, the other on another, and then plying both to blend the colours.  They are surprisingly similar in colour, but the Falkland wool is a lot bouncier in the fresh one.

Victorian Velvet

A bit like when someone gives up smoking, and they can taste things again, I am very conscious of what I am doing at the moment, which is giving me a great deal of pleasure and purpose.

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