Sunday, January 27, 2008

Natural dyeing

Workshop day yesterday with Linda Rudkin, we boiled away in the kitchen and came away with loads of samples.

The Indigo is a scrummy colour and I think I might have a proper go at this in the summer, using some shibori techniques. The green yarn had been previously dyed using saffron. The other pieces are only small samples of wool, silk habitai, cotton scrim and silk/viscose velvet. The dyes used were from right to left: Madder root, Walnut, Saffron, Brazil wood, Weld and Log wood.
Dyeing with natural dyes is a bit more of a palava than using procion. First we boiled the fabrics and yarn for 45 minutes in a solution of alum and cream of tartar. The dye stuff was put into pans of water and boiled for an hour. This had to be strained a couple of times. Then the mordanted fabrics were put into the strained dye and boiled for around 30-45 minutes. Then a good rinse. There were 11 of us in the class and we had 8 huge pans boiling away. Bit steamy. Indigo was easier, once the vat was made and rested it was just a case of dipping the fabric into the vat, waiting a couple of minutes and then lifting it back out again.
I like the colours we acheived but I think I prefer the more random splodges that I get when I bung my fabrics into a confined space, I think I will be procion dyeing in future.

No comments: