jeudi 27 janvier 2011

Onion Skins 3 Ways

The ivy berry bath didn't give me the color I was looking for, and so for my second attempt I thought I'd try something easier.

A skein form the first bath.

Onion skins....what a beautiful color!  I managed to get three different baths and 5 skeins out of only 200 grams of onion skins.

Recipe for the first bath
200g hand spun Shetland and BFL mordanted with alum
200g onions skins
I brought the onion skins to a low simmer and cooked them for about an hour.  After pouring off the dye bath there seemed to bee enough color left in the skins for a second bath so I refilled another container with water, placed the used onion skins in that new bath and set it aside for later.
I let the original bath cool and then placed the two skeins in the bath and brought it back to a very low simmer.  I let this bath simmer for about two hours.

For the second and third baths, I experimented.  I made a second dye bath with the used onion skins.  I then mixed half of that second bath with the exhausted bath from the first dying session and reserved the other half for the third bath.  I know, it's confusing, but I did end up with two skeins dyed a lovely shade of mustard.

The third bath was a combination of the exhaust bath from a batch of St. Johns wort flowers, and the second half of the second onion skin bath.

St. John's wort flowers floating in a dye bath.

 Are you completely lost yet?  For this I used an un-mordanted skein of Shetland hand spun.  It came out a yellowy peach.  I'm really pleased to have gotten so much color out of such a small bag of onion skins.  Pictures to come.....

vendredi 21 janvier 2011

Ivy Berry Soup and Wool Noodles

Shetland wool handspun in an alum mordant bath.

The ivy berry "soup".

The ivy berries were collected from Julienne's garden.

The color I was hoping for was a bright yellow green.  What I got was a very pale olive green.  Not a bad color, but not exactly what I was going for. 

Dye Recipe
900g berries and 200g Shetland wool mordanted with alum
I poured about 1litre boiling water over the berries and then let them sit over night
I crushed them the next morning
the dye bath fermented for 24 hrs before being strained though a mesh sieve
wool was placed in a cool dye bath with 6 liters water and half of the ivy berry dye.
wool was cooked at a very low simmer for two hours with minimal change in the color.
heated a second bath with the other half of the ivy berry dye bath
transferred the wool from one dye bath to the other
color became darker, but did not improve after two hours of simmering
took the dye pot off of the heat
I left the wool to steep in the bath over night

I'm going to try again with berries that are very ripe, i.e. completely black and I won't let the dye bath sit for more than the time it takes it to cool down.  Hopefully, I'll find a way to get a color I like.