I have a small stock of natural cream yarn, from the Falkland Islands by way of a charity shop. I decide to dye small samples and a slightly larger skein of each for use. As what remains to be seen.
Later, I excavate an old rhubarb plant to find masses of orange root, rotted from the centre. Soaked and boiled, this produces a really strong orange. It also seems more like cauldron boiling than just the leaf did. I leave both kitchen doors open and stand well clear.
Vinegar and salt were often used as mordants and prove useful with sloes, which give a lovely shade of pink. Carrot tops yield a strong lime green.
Rose-hips and beetroot, so brightly coloured themselves, produce only pallid tints.
Most interesting and informative, in a scientific sense, is red cabbage. By itself it is as faint as beetroot, but adding vinegar makes it stronger. However, adding baking-powder to the juice instead of vinegar produces quite a violent chemical reaction, turning the liquid to a jade green. This dyes to rather a strong colour, although there were also some brown streaks there. The fumes from this process seemed quite noxious and reminiscent of old-fashioned perm lotion - so probably ammonia? This seems odd when red cabbage is surely just cabbage and baking powder must be an edible substance.
As usual, much can be learned from the endeavours of others as published in their blogs. Red cabbage even merited a scientific study as to whether it could be used as an indicator to determine acids and alkalis.
We'll see where this goes. A trader in alum is visiting our Guild later in the month. Whether I can assemble all the dye-stuffs again remains to be seen.
|Tea, coffee, rhubarb root, tea, beetroot, rose-hip, carrot-tops, red cabbage green and pink, and sloes.|