Dyeing with Comfrey

I was dyeing with comfrey and to me it is a fiasco. The books say comfrey should yield green colour, khaki or olive green. This is what I achieved …

comfrey b

It looks more like well exhausted black tea. Again, I had the alum mordanted wool (150 g) and the plant ( well over 1 kg!) in the same pot, hoping for rich colour. After the first hours, the wool was still very pale. So I left it all in the pot for almost two more nights and days – the longest time I ever dyed on the hob.

The reasons for this poor results might be few: 1. Most of the dyestuff was used from frozen – comfrey I was given last year I stored in the freezer 2. books say I should use leaves, but I used stalks as well 3. some unknown reason which you might know? Any advice welcome!

On another note – I put the brazilwood dyed collar in a soapy water again and then in a vinegar bath instead of citric acid, the wool is pink again, as it was at the begining of felting.  It seams the citric acid is too strong, but I am still puzzled why the dye is so unstable and what could make it stable so that it would not react so much to the bath’s ph?

This is how it looks now…

brazilwood collar b

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3 thoughts on “Dyeing with Comfrey

  1. I have to look up what comfrey is, never heard of it so I’m useless when it comes to giving you any advice on this.
    Happy weekend! 🙂

  2. I know the comfrey-dyed wool isn’t what you were hoping for, but I still think it’s a nice colour. I had a similar experience using nettles recently – the colour was so pale that I was initially quite disappointed but when I started spinning it, I realised that it had a subtle beauty all of it’s own….

  3. I tried to dye calico with comfrey last year with no sucess,I have not had any trouble with brazilwood but then again I was dyeing calico.

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