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A colourful week….

July 23, 2009

Well, I certainly didn’t intent to go for a whole week without posting (sorry!) but time has been slipping through my fingers recently. I’ve got quite a few projects on the go – preparing for the craft fair, developing some designs for sale, working on some commissions – so there hasn’t been much time for playing on the interweb!

Anyhow, I’ve also been doing plenty of dyeing and thought you might like to take a peek…..

naturaldyeing

The oranges are from sorghum. I’m not sure how well it shows up in the photo, but after dyeing I soaked one skein in a weak alkaline solution (soapy water) and the other in a slightly acidic bath (lemon juice) to alter the shades slightly.

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The alkaline seemed to bring out the pinker tones (bottom), whilst the acid made the colour brighter and more clear (top). I also used the dyebath exhaust to get a paler, more pinky shade (far right in photo below).

naturaldyeing6

The yellow skein was dyed with kamala extract. I love the lemony colour it gives but plan on switching to weld, broom and coreopsis for yellows as these can be grown in the UK whereas Kamala cannot.

naturaldyeing3

Finally I used some walnut hulls to get browns and tans. I soaked the chopped hulls for 3 weeks prior to dyeing. The dark brown skeins came from the first dyebath and had been previously mordanted with alum. For the paler tan shades I used unmordanted wool in the dyebath exhaust to which I had added a small amount of powdered oak galls.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed this little burst of (natural) colour. I’ll try to be a better blogger from now on!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2009 11:59 am

    Scrummy colours! Would make a marvellous big baggy jumper. If only I liked knitting!

    • July 24, 2009 2:12 pm

      Thank you – perhaps some naturally dyed wool for felting would be more up your street. 🙂

  2. July 24, 2009 12:15 pm

    Lovely colours – they are starting to remind me of Autumn which is feeling very close at the moment.

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Nina x

    • July 24, 2009 2:14 pm

      Thank you – the craft fair that I’m hoping to sell some of the wool (and things made from the wool) is in autumn so I am leaning towards more autumnal colours – plus their my favourites anyhow! 🙂

  3. July 25, 2009 4:49 am

    my favorites are the last two.

  4. July 25, 2009 9:56 am

    I love those walnut browns! You can see the difference between the oranges in the first pic too, it’s amazing what lovely subtle differences you can get just by doing something slightly different.

    The commissions and new designs sound exciting! Hope all is going well in your preparations for the craft fair. I can’t wait to hear all about it! 🙂

    • July 25, 2009 10:49 am

      Thank you – I was surprised by the difference too – especially seeing as I was using extracts for the sorghum which apparently isn’t as susceptible to acids/alkalines as the actual unprocessed dyestuff. More surprising is the fact that acids and alkalines seem to be part of my daily considerations – thought I’d left that sort of thing behind when I finished GCSE Science! 🙂

  5. July 26, 2009 7:47 pm

    Lovely colours. I really liked your sorghum results. I tried it and got a colour like a rather dull madder but perhaps I shall try again.

    • July 27, 2009 7:15 am

      Thank you. I used quite a low percentage of extract – around 2.5% and I found the lemon juice soak after dyeing really brightened the colour.

  6. July 28, 2009 11:36 am

    *sigh*

    What beautiful colours…

  7. July 29, 2009 10:05 am

    Lovely craftiness! i could imagine being wrapped up in a scarf of those shades on this chilly ‘Autumn’ day.
    Good luck for the craft fayre can’t wait to see your wares.

    P.S. I’ve nominated your fab blog on this site – can’t see it there yet though
    http://www.dorsetcereals.co.uk/little-blog-awards

  8. August 12, 2009 9:34 am

    I love the orange skeins of wool especially, with their lovely subtle variations of colour. 🙂

  9. February 8, 2011 9:28 pm

    What a gift it was to find your blog! I can’t stop looking thorugh the beautiful things you make. Just added you to my reader!
    Luciana

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