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Summertime natural dyeing

I had some exciting ideas in mind for my next tapestry but I think I’ve finally settled on doing William Morris’ Strawberry Thieves using naturally dyed yarns.  This week I dyed a bunch of my sample yarns for it.   I have yet to dye the indigo ones, but I think I’ve made a good start.

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From back to front:

walnut with alum and cream of tartar

onion skins with alum at left and walnut with alum and cream of tartar beside it

osage with alum and cream of tartar

brazilwood with alum

osage with alum and iron

logwood with alum and iron

brazilwood with alum and iron

onion skins with alum and cream of tartar at left and onion skins with alum and iron next to it

osage with alum

logwood with alum

logwood with alum and cream of tartar

walnut with alum and iron

brazilwood with alum and cream of tartar

WilliamMorris3

William Morris’ Strawberry Thieves 1883. Click pic to go to its source

Janna Maria Vallee

3 Responses to Summertime natural dyeing

  1. Erin Simonetti - Reply

    July 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

    This is a phenomenal project and the sharing aspects are wonderful. I am not versed in weaving textile, but I enjoy following your posts. You offer insight and creative thoughts that get me thinking.

    I do have a question about your list of yarn colors. Are they actual recipes or just names? You mention cream of tartar and I notice a lighter shade, of that yarn. When you mention iron, it is darker.

    • Janna Maria Vallee - Reply

      July 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Hi Erin, thanks for dropping a line. What a compliment that is, thank you!

      The list is the beginning of a recipe I suppose. And yes, your observations are spot on, the Cream of Tartar tends to soften the colors whereas the iron saddens them. For these I always used only 2% iron or 6% cream of tartar. The percentages are relative to the the weight of the fabric. So, 6% of iron for 100g of yarn is 6g of iron.

      Do you plan on trying your hand at natural dyeing?

      Janna

      • Erin Simonetti - Reply

        July 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm

        Thank you for your reply.
        No, I am not thinking of getting involved myself, but I have always been very interested in this wonderful art form, along with dying the yarns. I do think I can learn something about my own craft, reading and listening more :D
        I am looking forward to more posts.

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