Finished product from Natural Dyes

Hi guys, I thought I would post some of my scarves which came from the past year's gathering and dyeing.  The hardest part of this was creating the color palette for each scarf.  I had planned my small 1 -2 ounce skeins for testing dye colors with no end project in sight.  In the end I wanted to weave with the silk.  This meant I submitted myself to tying on differnt warps for each scarve.  Doable but sheer torture to tie on EACH scarf.  Now that I know the yield I will be able to dye larger batches with a LONGER warp in mind.  Here ya go, not sure why I got different sizes, detail photos will be in my projects.

1.  Warp - Wild madder, Whole Acorn (dna), Walnut Shell, Oak Leaves and Crushed Acorns  Weft - Eastern Red Cedar (dna)

2.  Warp - Lichen (DNA) Weft - Lichen - water

3.  Warp - Acorn, Weft - Madder root


4.  Warp - Green Acorns, Indigo Green, Woad, Japanese Indigo    Weft - Japanese Indigo




Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 13:56

Beautiful, beautiful subtle colours...and the silk yarn doesn't look too stressed from the dyeing process. Are you achieving these colours and this 'look' because you dont use mordants ie alum? (I've no experience of using natural dyes, so I'm kind of guessing here!)


Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 17:17

Hi BP, all the gory detail is on my blog

In short all these yarns were mordanted with alum sulfate, the ratio was 1:1 substrate to dye material.  I definitely would not invest the time into the materials unless I had prepped my yarn with mordant.  This was the first year I was experimenting with all the area dye possibilities so I did get mostly pastels just due to the dyestuff to substrate ratio.   I'm smarter this year and once it rains again here in Texas and we get more water for washing and prepping dyestuff I'll start up again!

Posted on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 22:32

Wow those scarves are awesome!  I am new to the whole process of weaving, spinning and head is spinning, but those are fantastic.  I gotta ask though..what do you mean by (dna)?

Also...acorns?  Green and ripe?  My squirrels are going to be soooo disappointed when I start snatching some!


Posted on Thu, 10/13/2011 - 01:46

DNA = denatured alcohol, must use electric burner, no open flames due to fumes, safe practices needed even in natural dyeing.  Some folks use cheap vodka or everclear.....must watch budget at dyepot!

green acorns, YES, a lovely color different from the brown acorns...worth racing the squirrels to the ground for that color!