Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dye - Curly Dock Leaves

Spent part of the weekend weeding, so while I was at it, I pulled all the curly dock roots and leaves into a pile to see what I could do with dye. I knew that sorrel root was supposed to give an orangey color, so it seemed worth grabbing its relative, curly dock (since I don't have any sorrel growing wild in the yard!)

I laid out the roots on newspaper in the garage to dye, since I knew I wouldn't get to them for a while. I chopped up the leaves into a 164-gram pile, added to 8 cups of sink water, and simmered for 60 minutes (never quite boiled). The water was still very pale, so I left the dyestuff to cool in the pot.

8 days later I got back to the dyepot, which had fermented (didn't smell nearly as nice anymore!) Added 3g of wool, 1/2 alum-mordanted but undyed, and 1/2 previously-died wool (buckthorn? mulberry? not sure which) that was a pale buff color.

Left to soak for 2 days at about 67 degrees, then turned the heat on to a simmer after adding more water (about 3/4 had evaporated). After simmering one hour, let the dyepot cool until the next night, then rinsed and dried the wool. Got a muddy yellow color.

(No pictures this post; Flickr tells me I'm at my limit for free photo hosting. Need to figure out where to move that won't impose a 200-picture limit...)

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