more dyeing


Last weeks progress with the dye-athon

top shelf left- chamomile and alum

top shelf right – leftover baths from weld, persian berries, and safflower, and bunged in together and with a few stray onion skins added for good measure. Alum. This is one of the nicer yellows

2nd shelf down – best turkish madder, first wash, with alum. The darker colour to the right is silk.

3rd shelf down, left-  english madder, first wash with alum. I’ve never used this madder before, and although I hate to be unpatriotic, I don’t think I’ll be using it again, as it’s a little too brown.

3rd shelf down, right- cutch and alum

4th shelf- 2nd wash turksih madder, alum

5th shelf- 2nd wash english madder, alum

bottom- one fromeach of the above, but with after mordant of tin. I’m not sure I left it long enough, as it hasn’t really made that much difference to the colours. Trouble is you have to be careful with tin as it can damage the fibre.

I still have other colours to do, as well as a third wash from the turkish madder (I’m not going to bother with the english)

I’m a little concerned that I need some embroidery to do at work, as I’m almost done with the last of the fillers for the labours of the months, and there’s just no way I’ll have the rest of the dyes done by the end of this week. mynext project though, is a zodiac, the centre of which is the sun, so might get away with just the reds and yellows…


In other news I’ve decided to abandon the bayeux piece once and for all (I can still use it for display as a ufo) becuase for the last two weeks,instead of settling down for two hours or so of nice relaxing sewing in the evening, I’ve faffed on the internet to avoid working on the damnedthing. It bores me, not being able to sew stresses me out, and at this rate it will take til next year to finish – life’s too short!

Instead for the next few weeks or so I’mgoing to focus and getting a few bits and bobs done for Nottingham, including getting the labours assembled. After that, since I’m ahead with my Christmaspresent making, I’m going to indulge myself and make the fairytale coat I’ve been wanting to make for thelast two years


~ by opusanglicanum on September 10, 2013.

11 Responses to “more dyeing”

  1. Oh, luscious! Your stars foretell some colourful embroidery in your future.

  2. Put a padlock on those colours – I might be tempted to steal them! Have you read Tapestry by Philip Terrry?

  3. Beautiful colours. That Turkish madder is just lovely – very deep and very red (not the orange that I see most people passing off as “madder red”).

    Just a random thought – you could purposely leave the Bayeux piece unfinished, especially if you have a finished companion piece which is also laid and couched. Sometimes the best education piece is one that it is in progress.

    • madders vary a lot in quality, as evidenced by the difference in the turkish and english, but I’ve found the turkish madder is consistently good, and worth paying extra for (I think it’s £5 per 100g as opposed to £3)

      thats what I have been using it for, and thats what its going back to

  4. That all looks nice. Did you monitor the temperature for the reds? That’s how I got a nice bright red, whereas brown comes out at a higher temperature.
    Also what size is your pot and how do you heat it?

    • it’s a large stainless steel pot, about 12 inches diametre and about as deep, over a domestic gas range.

      I used to monitor the temperature with a thermometre many years ago when I first started, but I found it very faffy, plus there was that time I broke a mercury thermometre all over my hob… Now all I do is what I call the chicken stock method, ie that a large pot on the lowest heat can be left without boiling, and as long as you never turn the heat up it will only ever reach simmering point. I did read somewhere last week though that part of the turkey red process includes boiling madder.

  5. I like the sound of a fairytale coat!

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