The dye pot, the sun and the rain!

The Iris flowers have been both enormous and plentiful this Spring.  Boiled some of the yellow flowers, strained off the vegetation, added raw clean wool and a few eucalyptus leaves into the mix –  just to see if any colour would imprint on the wool without boiling them first –  and left pot outside to “cook” in the sun.  Not sure about this – the solution looks a little weak.

With the expectation of hot sunny days, it seemed too good to waste those solar rays, and with commercial product that needs to be used, I placed two trays of dark grey merino fleece (washed) basking in the sun, one with red dye and one with blue.

This is the same merino fleece solar dyed with blues and spun to a 5 ply/sport weight yarn. It has texture, is light and soft and has good variation of grey and blue colour through it.

I divided the exhaust liquor from the red/grey merino into three jars, placed 3 different silks into each jar.  From left to right – mulberry silk, silk waste and tussah silk and left them outside with the natural dyepot.

NB – The sun has been playing hide and seek for the last four days.  However, the silk has probably taken up as much of the dye as it is likely too, so the plan is to take them out tomorrow, rinse and (hoping for better weather) to dry them.

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5 Responses to The dye pot, the sun and the rain!

  1. colorsmith says:

    Ingrid, I can’t wait to see what comes from this process. Do you sell any of you natural dyed wools? By the way, a couple of people commented my post that they love to see your post. One person is going to be teaching down there in March. So you might hear from her too. She will be teaching encasutic.

    • Ingrid says:

      Thank you Cami. Not sure I deserve your very generous introduction to me as playing with natural fibres is mostly what I do and I have no formal training. I do sell my handspun and sometimes items I have made, at the moment locally, though an ‘online’ shop is a possibility. What do you think?

  2. judy martin says:

    Writing about natural dyeing is difficult but important I think. So many of us are feeling our way into the process, and it’s wonderful to feel that there is this world wide web of other like minded ones all over.
    Thanks for these kinds of posts.

    • Ingrid says:

      Agreed, though I am not good with details and they can be tiresome to read, so try to keep it fairly simple in the hope that others may have a go and not expect too much, especially when first they try. As I started out using commercial dyes, I need to use the remaining product (economically required), however natural dyeing is where I want to be ultimately.

  3. ...iph... says:

    Oh, I love all these colors! …I was at Webs yesterday, looking at baskets of undyed wool, and thinking of you. Your last photo here, the silks in the jars with red/gray liquor, seems like a perfectly seasonal Halloween image to me. Very mysterious and “cabinet of curiosities.” :o)

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