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surprise colour

February 13, 2020

part 2 – onion skin dyeing

I don’t cook with purple onions often so gathering enough dye material was a challenge

I asked at the produce dept. but they couldn’t/wouldn’t help

so I gathered the loose skins from the bin

approx. 50 gm. of skins and 40 gm. of yarn

same dyeing procedure – soak, simmer, remove skins, simmer yarn 1 hr. and leave overnight to cool

cotton was mordanted with a tannin and then alum, wool and silk with alum

the surprise was an olive green on the cotton

Aimee said she got a green when dyeing handmade paper

in my soggy, wet world there are some signs of Spring – hellebore

my mini workshop proposal has been accepted by the Hand to Hand committee

Scrap Happy Recycling – April 24 – 1:30-4:30 pm

the web site is

registration will open on or before March 15th

it’s a great location at the Cowichan Valley Fair Grounds, very well organized

with an interesting list of workshops




4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2020 8:00 am

    ah, there’s the green i know and love! i’ve been weaving with green paper cords all week. now we know it’s probably a cellulose thing.


    • February 14, 2020 8:34 am

      Aimee – definitely cellulose BUT I get a deeper similar colour on both silk and wool using alum and an iron modifier ( marigold, rhubarb root and pomegranate skin). And it is interesting that the cotton dyed with yellow onion is definitely orange.


  2. February 13, 2020 1:15 pm

    I’m surprised about the red onion skin, especially considering the strong colour you got from the others… I’ll look forward to seeing what you post about your Scrap Happy workshop 🙂


    • February 13, 2020 4:26 pm

      Kate – natural dye colour is all about the chemicals in the material, not the colour of the flower or the tree/bark/leaf. Purple onions are very different from yellow ones. The workshop will be about stitching boro like pieces and showing people how to use even small scraps.

      Liked by 1 person

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