Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Natural Dye Experiments

Today I declared a 'play day' and, with a friend, dyed up four pounds of wool. She is a spinner and did some Blue Faced Leicester roving, and I dyed 100gr skeins of BFL Aran. Attached is a picture of the colors we got out of cochineal, logwood, and Black Eyed Susans flower heads. The flower bath was very light and we added some tin, then some iron, then rinsed in ammonia.
The yellow came from that mixed bath, beautiful accident that it is! The almost-blue is logwood with an afterbath in ammonia. The different pink shades came from successive exhaust baths of the cochineal.
We just didn't have enough flower heads, and only got one nice skein from that bath. But the yellow is very nice. This is how we learn. I admit to being so excited over the process that we absolutely forgot to take notes!
I am taking the advice of my natural dye teachers, Carol Wood & Debbie McCrea, and am raiding the onion bins of the skins every time I go to the grocery store. This, in hopes of achieving a nice yellow from an onion skin bath.


Spincerely said...

Those are very nice colors. Which one is the Black Eyed Susan flower heads? Is it the one between the pink and purple. Is that the one that you added tin, iron, and ammonia? Just wondering because I have a lot of Blacked Eyed Susans but I don't know if I could cut off their heads or not because they are so pretty:)

Susie said...

Love the colors you created! I have had great success with onion skins, but got strong golds from them, not yellows (sorry no photos of them on my blog).

I had great luck with black walnut for creating rich chocolate browns. Coreopsis gave me a strong goldish orange. I just tried mullein flowers and leaves and thus far am unimpressed with the colors so I am interested to try the ammonia dip on one of them to see what happens!