Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dye Batches Two and Three

Other dye recipes without mordant:

Did I jinx this color by thinking, "Bright purple? Not sure I like this color."

2 cups red cabbage (Brassica oleracea - along with kale, collards, cauliflower, broccoli...) simmered in 4 cups water and 3 T vinegar. Did not work.


Of the slimy, mucilaginous curly dock, a herbalist acquaintance has said, "You can always tell an herbalist when they say, 'Don't touch my dock.'"

3 ounces curly dock (Rumex crispus) boiled in 6 cups water in cast iron kettle. Skeins simmered 1 hour with plant material. Let cool overnight: medium grey with green tint.



The recipe from Dyes from Plants (c. 1973 by Seonaid Robertson: "I have taught dyeing in more countries than anyone. I think, and therefore, speak with experience of the different plants," she writes of herself) recommended the inner bark of a newly fallen tree in spring. It also noted that Quercus tinctoria was the only oak that was successful for the author. Quercus tinctoria, mean oak used for dyeing, is now known as Quercus velutina, meaning oak with a velvety coating (leaf undersides). This oak can also be called black oak.

2 cups white oak inner bark (Quercus alba) simmered 1 hour. Sieve. Skeins simmered 1 hour. Did not work. Though the dye bath was a rich auburn tone, I believe the tree had been fallen too long and the tannins leached.

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