Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I have been having loads of fun tossing stuff into dyepots, bundling cloth and subjecting it to undignified processes, unwinding, rinsing and joyfully crowing most of the time
the rush of inspiration, the oh too fast passing of the flowers do not allow for preparation
spontaneous, instantaneous, belly laughter joy it is still here, but now I want to "do something"with the products
I'm not very clear yet on what exactly that will be, but I would like a red or reddish colour from madder, or the neverending adventure of a good indigo vat
and some plant colours that will last for a few washings at least and leaf flower prints too
that, I have been told, in the naturaldyes yahoo group (thanks Helen)and in the books I'm reading means that fabric has to be properly prepared
so I read Liles (The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing)
and I read and re read and reread India Flint (eco colour)
and some John Marshall (johnmarshall.to)
and decided, like a good bo...girl scout, to be prepared
I took all my cotton cloth that I havebeen cutting to pieces and dipped it in ash water made from the ashes of the last winter fire in the fireplace and hung it up to dry. ditto with the linen and some knitted cotton longsleeved pyjama things a friend gave me
in lieu of grass I let them dry on the cut weeds, they are like straw, but they were grasses once, not too long ago- nothing got dirty- they actually dried rather quickly
repeated a few times 3 or 4 it is hot over here
in the meantime I ground soya beans and soaked them in water emptying it into a bucket thus making soya milk
and I whipped yoghurt with water and put that into another bucket
those were my protein dips
some cloths went into one bucket, others into the other
I don;t think I mixed them up
and a few ash water dips in between, drying between every dip
it took all day
now they are "curing"while I take care of motherly + workly matters
I wil try for tannin when I feel confident about my tannin sources
that means reading up some more. and oak gall hunting. I am very grateful for the generosity of people who post their experience on dyeing on the web, that is why I'm posting here, even though I'm as new a newbie as can be
in the meantime my solar dye jars were very hot today, we had more than 35 in the shade, no one would call that cold dyeing, by midday liquids were too hot for my hand
it is good weather for an indigo vat, I have to get a ph meter of some sort
the fleeces are waiting dirty as can be for me to decide the best method, detergent etc for washing
I went to look at them again, I love the animal smell, and the colours are wonderful maybe I will photograph them tomorrow
I'm thinking that the first hand at least will be only water, left in the sun all day. I suppose the more excremental hanging bits should be cut away (maybe soaked for dye-mordant?) they could be called extremely dirty- I prefer animally
If I leave them much longer they will be walking away....

1 comment:

yvette said...

hoi hoi,
salt water is the best to wash your dirty wool, I like so much to read about all your efforts in mordants!
I only still use ironwater and steaming.

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