I have used henna for our last dyeing experiment which we have been doing with Marian from Florcita over the past weeks. This time we just picked a dye we had at home in our stock. She dyed yellows and since I had no natural yellow dye I tried henna for the first time.
Henna is a substantive dye which means that no fibre mordanting is needed prior dyeing because of the present tannins. However, premordanting does no harm and enhances fastness. The fibres I used were all mordanted – in the same way as the fibres I used for my previous experiments.
great difference in the depth of color between vegetable (circle) and protein (row) fibres
protein fibres: merino (darkest) and various silks
I was surprised that merino wool took up much more color than silks, it’s usualy opposite.
The color of merino is brown towards orange, similar to some of the tea dyes, but stronger. Somewhere close to cinnamon, sepia or russet.
Vegetable fibres, although well mordanted and dyed at the same conditions as protein fibres, took up just a little bit of color. It is visible even more on the next sample: nunofelted cotton fabrics on merino which was later dyed in the henna exhaust.
It’s such a pleasure to look at these samples, compare them and see the very subtle differences in hues of one color. It may often be brown, yellow or grey, yet always a different shade.