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Monday, 28 July 2008

Dyeing At Last

I have had some gum leaves drying out on the floor of the garden room so that they will give a more intense shade when used for dyeing wool.
On Friday I bought a lovely enamelled pan in Wilkos for less than a tenner and decided that it was time to get dyeing.
The wool is the Wensleydale Longwool from the shop of the same name near Leyburn.

I used 200gm of torn up gum leaves from the tree at the bottom of the garden that is down for removal. I shall harvest more leaves before it goes and leave them to dry out in the garage. There will be no more once the tree is gone.

I mordanted the wool in Copper sulphate which gives it a hint of pale blue-green and then dyed it in a pan in which the gum leaves had been simmered for an hour or two.
This is the result.

Its a lighter colour than I expected from my experience of dyeing with gum leaves in Australia but then of course, the climate is so different.

I have some alum-mordanted wool which will be dyed with another 200gm batch of gum leaves at the end of the week. In the mean time I'm mordanting more wool and have harvested a tangle of Tansy from the garden to experiment with. News of that tomorrow.


chillsider said...

Very encouraging, what are your plans for the wool? I wake most mornings recently thinking I must do that dyeing, but then wimp out.

sue said...

How nice the yarn turned out. I thought that perhaps you had given up on knitting for a bit. Are you going to make something special out of it.

chillsider said...

The subtle shades of natural dyes will make a very covertable "throw".
The dog walk map was taken from a local footpaths plan of our village. I tried tea dying the fabric but it looked very dingy, [I was aiming for ancient parchment]so I gave it a good dose of procions, and acrylic paints for the river. I want to start a new map of our holiday walks in Hastings, but dyes do intimidate me, I am hopeless at following instructions.,