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colour from the kitchen

January 7, 2020

Happy, Happy Distaff Day to all spinners, weavers and fibre people

the distaff was celebrated as the medieval symbol of woman’s work

and to celebrate Knotty by Nature has opened their new location – 1919 Fernwood Rd.

in an old house right in Fernwood village

Ryan and Stephanie have been very busy

filled with fiber-y goodies

bright and cheerful – drop by and say hello

month one of my annual challenge – natural dyes

starting with materials easily found in most kitchens

January will be tea and coffee – you bring the cookies

but a little preliminary information – the internet is flooded with it

some is useful, most barely scratches the surface, and some is downright misinformed

I follow Maiwa Handprints information and “instructions” exclusively

they are on Granville Island in Vancouver – (I don’t receive any acknowledgement for the plug) – click on Supply Store

their information has been used dozen of times at their workshops, it is tried and true

can be found on-line or in print

I’ve use many of their dyes and chemicals for years and never been disappointed

start by scouring all yarns (and fabric) per instructions- you will be surprised at the colour of the water

then for cotton and cellulose fibres, mordant with a tannin – there are several different natural tannins

I use myrobalam – just because I have it – and by the way in stronger strengths it can be used as a dye for yellow

when used as a mordant at 15% w.o.f. it will make the yarn a pale yellow

I always leave my yarns in both mordant and dye baths to cool overnight -to soak up just that little bit more

after the cotton is tannin mordanted all the skeins are mordanted in an alum bath, together

the new camera has captured the colours well

on the left – black, loose tea – wool, silk and cotton

right – coffee – again, wool, silk and cotton

the squares are a good quality wool felt , it picks up the true, basic colour in the dye material

even with the tannin mordant the cotton is a very uninteresting beige

I wouldn’t bother with coffee again

the tea dyed wool is a nice warm reddish brown

wonder what the kitchen will produce next month?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2020 3:12 pm

    Your tea made such a pretty dye especially on the wool! I missed you at Knotty, but we’ll run into each other there at some point I expect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 7, 2020 3:17 pm

      Kjerstin – sorry I missed you, they were really busy, looked really good. The tea on wool is really pretty.


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