Friday, 24 March 2017

More dyeing

 I read that lavender, rose petals and lemon juice makes pink dye and to my surprise it did, however when I added the wool it turned orange (I think the leather has some curing stuff in it that is yellow so I am now washing all my wool in the pasta pot.)
I added baking soda to try and change the colour and it frothed all over the place and then turned gold coloured.

 I also tried borage and cornflowers but got no colour at all ( at least no nice colour) and borage roots, brown.
 I then tried oak bark because the oak tree up the back is too healthy and has no galls on it at all. The bark made a nice dark brown dye.
 I dyed some wool in it but the brown was very light, so I left the wool to soak overnight.
It didn't get much darker though.

I then tried orange nasturtiums they made pink dye and the flowers turned yellow and the wool turned brown.
and some more coreopsis because I thought it didn't make brown, but it made a very brownish orange.
and lastly I made some dye out of elderberries.  It was green (because I added too much baking soda) but the wool didn't pick up much colour and ended up pale brownish green.

Green dye (or not)

I have decided to try and dye a rainbow, I have red, orange and yellow so the next colour is green.  Apparently broom gives green or yellow dye but, after a long process of chopping the plant into small pieces, boiling, straining and simmering, all I got was brown.
then I tried N.Z spinach.  The liquid was yellow, and the wool was brown.

Then dandelion leaves, the liquid started out green and then turned brown. Brown is an annoyingly easy colour to get

Camomile produced a yellowy green liquid, the wool turned a very faint yellowy green but it is the best so far.

and then I decided to move on to something else.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Renee's writing

Really it is about time I linked Renee's story blog on here.  Writing and drawing are Renee's favourite pastimes and she started a story blog some time ago.
Here it is:
Renee's blog

Dyeing with coreopsis

While I was researching elderberry dye I came across several very interesting ideas for plants to use in dyeing.  One of these was coreopsis, which we conveniently have growing in the garden.
I picked about a cup full of the flowers, and put them in a pot and covered them with water and let them simmer for quarter of an hour.

 I left them to sit for a few hours,

then I simmered them again and strained out the liquid. I divided the dye into three parts,

 I added vinegar to one and it turned yellow, 

baking soda to the next which turned red,

 and left the last one plain, it was orange.

I dyed small pieces of sheep skin, suede with wool on one side and in doing learned something important; if you boil suede it goes hard and stiff and curls up.  It also does not change colour in dye.
I also tried dyeing with dandelion roots but the wool looked practically the same colour as before it was dyed.
 I dyed two bigger bits with the remaining dye.  The last piece was red and as you can see it is not as strong as the small red piece which was the first thing I dyed.

 by Bryony

Dyeing with elderberries

This week we got a whole lot of elderberries and, after making a lot of jams and jellies out of them, I decided to try dyeing so I googled it and began experimenting. I somehow forgot/didn't read that you are supposed to simmer the fabric in the dye and mordant (alum), so all the colour washed out.
before washing
                                                           after washing

 so the next day I did more experiments this time heating everything.
These were the results.  Of the two light pink pieces, one was just vinegar and one was just baking soda.  The two maroon pieces were left in the dye overnight.                                                        

                                                       just alum             
                                                                 salt and alum

                                                        baking soda and alum

Once I had finished experimenting I dyed a old damask tablecloth from the op-shop so it would not look so tableclothy.  First I simmered it in salt water (1 salt to 16 parts water approximately) for about half an hour. Then I put it in the dye and alum and simmered it for half an hour and then left it to cool in the dye.
 Then I rinsed it in the bath, most of the red washed out.
More came out in the wash (no soap) leaving it a nice lavender/grey colour.

 by Bryony