Sunday, 5 February 2012

Natural Dyeing

One of my intentions for 2012 is to explore natural dyeing.
I have dabbled a little, but this year I would like to take it further, experiment more & keep great notes ; - D

I currently have some lichen (Parmotrema perlatum) fermenting in an ammonia solution (1 p ammonia 2 p water)
It started off a lovely golden colour, has changed to rust & then deepened. Will I get the elusive purple? or red? Only time will tell!

I also have a pan of catkins soaking (the male parts of the Alder tree)

They gave colour into the liquid on about the third day. I plan to soak them for about a week & then simmer for an hour, before testing with a little fleece that has been treated with alum (as a mordant) to see what colour the catkins have given.

Today we had a wonderful walk. Yesterday it snowed & then rained & was bitterly cold. Today we had a thaw. As we were walking through the woods I saw this:

The dye actually running out of the female cones of the Alder trees!

I have picked some of the cones & they are steeping as I type:

It will be very interesting to see how the colour compares to the catkins.

Last but not least, I have collected a little more lichen, but I have not yet identified this one. It was abundant & I was lucky enough to find some on fallen branches.

I recently went along to a spinning workshop at The Threshing Barn
& purchased a lovely Ryeland fleece, which I scoured on a warm sunny day last week. My plan is to dye the fleece with various natural dyes & spin it into a 2 ply fingering weight & knit a Fair Isle something or other for one of the girls.

Happy Crafting!

1 comment:

stefndawniy said...

wow, fascinating :o) I'll look forward to seeing how you get on and more pics :)