spun & dyed

Spinning odd bits of wool and cellulose fibres.  There is some spongy Dorset Poll x Charolais Sheep fleece, some lovely BFL cross, some Mule and a pure BFL and tencel.

I want to use the yarn in felt so I was trying (not that I would need to very hard ^-^) for unevenness.

And here is a bit of dyeing/modifying with a red cabagge. Alum mordanted silk ponge, in the bowl on the left with vinegar, on the right with soda bicarbonate.

And dried.

Red cabbage was the first natural dye I ever tried. It was on alum mordanted wool and the whole piece turned grey, after I used an alkaline modiefier it turned pleasant green. Seemingly, colors are different on silk, I wonder what color  would cellulose fibres be.

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7 thoughts on “spun & dyed

  1. Hi!
    First, thank you for the Claudy Jongstra (sp?) link yesterday…I love the look of felted cloth!
    (And will maybe get brave enough to try it this summer!)

    Your dyeing is very pretty…I live in NEOhio, and haven’t found any decent sources of (reasonably priced!) wool or silk, so I pretty much eco-dye cotton.
    I haven’t tried red cabbage (or red onion skins, for that matter) but last summer I played with some black beans and got pretty much the same colors on mordanted cotton as you got with your wool and cabbage. Except I got a vivid bright acid/olive green w/baking soda. The vinegar made a bright cherry red. I added some milk and got a soft acqua-ish. All by itself, it makes a muted purplish-grey. Very pretty. And REALLY stinky! 🙂 I basically solar-dyed them for a week or two, stirring occasionally. On cotton, the green was quickly fugitive, the red almost. They both reverted back to that pretty purplish/grey. I rinsed out the cloth a bit then and let it ‘age’ for a month or so (mostly b/c of the stink!) Then I lightly washed it in the machine w/a dab of mild detergent and baking soda. The grey color holds, and 90% of the smell has gone.
    (All this is just an FYI in case you want to try it on your lovely wools.) 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the pics! I love seeing the beautiful colors and patterns everybody gets from their experiments!

  2. Oh gosh-I misspoke on the bbeans…I meant, I got the bright olive green from an addition of AMMONIA, and the acqua from a milky baking soda. The cherry red from the vinegar, of course!

    Say, did you see where someone was suggesting making your own pH strips from red cabbage dye water…they dipped little strips of absorbent paper in and let them dry. Then dampened them and laid them/smooshed them with/to the plant material they were curious about, and got a basic (pardon the pun) idea of the pH as a starting point for making a dye-pot decision(s.)

    I don’t know, made some sense to me…:-)

  3. I dyed some silk and silk gauze with red cabbage in early January and loved the soft blues that resulted! I wish I’d added some cotton fabric to the dye pot, but I didn’t.

    Treena’s suggestions are interesting. I haven’t tried black beans.

  4. very interesting and great photographs, my friend does a lot of dyeing so I am going to get her to read your blog and see if we can have a go together!!

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