TAking a long time to dye

So, it looks like my week of dyeing is going to stretch out over four weeks of evenings instead. I was only home three nights this weeks, so this is all I’ve got…

dye 3

Everything is mordanted with alum first.

top shelf – Third wash turkish madder. Don’t know what that looks like on your monitors, but in my (increasingly dye-stained) bathroom it’s an absolutely glorious shade of 80’s peach. When I was fifteen I used to have Mand S bath products in that colour, and I’m sure I had a jumper that shade which I thought was the absolute dog’s.

second shelf left – dyers greenweed, a fairly meh shade of yellow, but it’s for overdying to make greens.

second shelf right – alkanet. I’ve never actaully used alkanet before, and I have to admit I’m not impressed and will probably overdye this. But afterwards I read up a bit more and realised it might be my fault, so I’ll probably try it again sometime.

Third shelf left – walnut

Third shelf middle – first was English and turkish madders overdyed with walnut in an attempt to create a warmer shade of brown. Nice browns are difficult.

third shelf right – walnut with a secondary mordant of iron

Fourth shelf left – First wash cochineal with a secondary mordant of iron. I’ve never treid iron on cochineal before, as iron darkens colours and in the past I’ve alway sgone for as bright as possible, but this is actually a really nice burgundy so I’d do that again

Fourth shelf left – First wash cochineal.

Fifth shelf left – Second wash cochineal. Ok, so in the photo it looks the same shade as the first wash, but it was wet when I took the picture so it will probably lighten.

Fifth shelf right – First wash cochineal with a secondary mordant of tin. I always think that hard scarlet you get from tin and cochineal looks like a chemical dye, it’s so bright.

I have yet to take a picture, but this morning at work I finished the last of the rosettes for the labours. So when I got home I dug out a piece of white tweed so I could map out the outlines for the first panel of the next project, as I will need something to do at work next week. I hemmed the piece, and the it struck me that I would need coloured tailor’s chalk to draw the outer circle (I can get away with freehanding the outlines of the actual picture if I have to, but no way can I embroider a perfect 12inch circle freehand, I’m not bleedin wonderwoman). I had this terrible sinking feeling as I realised it was four O’clock and no way could I get to the haberdasher’s before they closed, because no matter how organised I try to be I can never ever find a piece of tailor’s chalk when I want one, let lone one the right colour…

…then, with a sense of utter futility I went to my sewing box, figuring I might as well try.

And immediately, without even having to empty the entire thing all over the floor, discharging the grubby nameless things that lurk at the bottom all over the rug and thus making Gareth do his drama queen routine, I laid my hand on a chunk of blue tailor’s chalk.

How wierd is that?

~ by opusanglicanum on September 13, 2013.

7 Responses to “TAking a long time to dye”

  1. I know nothing about traditional dying techniques and I’m fascinated by your efforts. Where do you get your ingredients??

    • the internet – where else. Some came from fibrecrafts, but as I mentioned ealier I’m not happy with them right now cos they wiegh the bag as part of the dyestuff, this time I also used a place called wild colour. You can grow things too, but some dyes like madder are very much affected by soil quality

  2. As always, I am amazed by your skills and by the sheer amount of stuff you get done. Bravo!

  3. Just goes to show that sometimes the tailor’s chalk doesn’t hide – I always thought it did!

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