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Anti-microbial Effects of Natural Dyes

Anti-microbial Effects of Natural Dyes
Natural dyes are a good thing. In my research, I came across numerous research studies that have been done in the past several years about dye plants and their effectiveness against harmful microbes such as:
Escherichia coli
Sarcina lutea
Proteus vulgaris
Bacillus subtilis
Klebsiella pneumoniae
Staphylocccus aures
Enterococcus faecalis
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Candida albicans

Researchers have been investigating the anti-microbial properties of plant dyes in order to develop commercial applications to produce textiles for use in hospital and clinical situations to help reduce the harmful spread of bacteria.
Some of the plants were more effective against different bacteria than others. Also stronger dye concentrations had higher microbial effects. I suppose that if you wore clothing of different colours and dyed with different dye plants, there might be a synergistic effect, giving you better microbe resistance. Also perhaps overdye techniques could be used with the dyes, producing different colours as well as added resistance.

In addition to confirming that many natural dye plants have bacteria killing properties, the researchers also tested the washability of the plant dyes and found that the dyes were wash fast and the anti-microbial effects did not wash out of the textiles when they were properly mordanted.
Potassium aluminum sulphate (Alum) was used in most of the studies as a mordant.

Some of the natural plant dyes that have been tested with positive results for their antimicrobial resistance are:

LATIN NAME – PART OF PLANT/COLOUR – COMMON NAME (links to Dye Recipes)
Rhamnus petiolaris – Fruit Yellow-orange – Persian berries, Buckthorn bark
Juglans regia – Green fruit- peel Brown – Walnut
Laurus nobilis – Leaf, Light yellow – Bay tree
Erica manipuliflora – Above ground – Brown, yellow, – Heather
Vitex Leaf Light brown, greenish – Chaste Tree
Juniperus foetidissima – Leaf, Light yellow, -Juniper
Juniperus excelsa – Leaf , Light yellow, – Greek Juniper
Berberis vulgaris – Fruit, Yellow-Orange – Barberry
Lawsonia inermis -Leaf Red, Brown -Henna
Agrimonia eupatoria – Leaf, Yellow – Agrimony
Cistus creticus – Leaf, Brown Yellow – Cretan rockrose
Reseda lutea- Flower, Yellow – Weld
Sambucus nigra – Leaf, Yellow – Elderberry
Punica granatum – Fruit peel, Yellow -Pomegranate
Eucalyptus globulus – Leaf – Eucalyptus
Matricaria chamomilla – Flower – camomile
Pinus brutia – Bark , Brown – Pine tree
Platanus orientalis – Bark , Red, Sycamore – Oriental Plane
Cartamus tinctorius -Flower, Yellow ,- Safflower
Salvia officinalis ,Leaf – Yellow-orange, green – Sage
Verbascum orientale – Leaf, yellow – Mullein
Allium cepa – Dry outer leaf, Yellow-orange – Onion
Rhus coriaria – Flower ,Yellow, brown – Sumac
Curcuma longa – Flower, Yellow – Turmeric
Olea europaea – Leaf , Yellow-green – Olive tree
Quercus infectoria – Oak galls
Acacia Catechu – Cutch
Rheum Emodi – Himalayan rhubarb
Rubia cordifolia – Indian madder
Rumex maritimus – Golden dock
Lithospermum purpureocaeruleum -Shikonin – Purple Gromwell
Alkanna tinctoria – Alkanet
Haematoxylum campechianum – heartwood, blues, grey, brown, black – Logwood
Butea monosperma – Flowers, yellow – Bastard Teak Flame of the Forest
Rheum australe – Rhizomes, oranges, yellow – Himalayan Rhubarb

With winter and ‘flu season coming up, perhaps it is time to knit a scarf using naturally dyed yarns?

References
Antimicrobial Activities of Some Natural Dyes and Dyed Wool Yarn
In this study researchers tested 25 natural dye plants for their effectiveness against micro-organisms.
Punica granatum (Pomegranate peels) Berberis vulgaris (Barberry), Agrimonia eupatoria (Agrimony), Rhus coriaria (Sumac) were effective against all bacteria. Sarcina lutea, Bacillus subtilis, MRSA and Enterococcus faecalis were sensitive to almost all dye extracts even at low concentrations. The dyed wool material tested with microorganisms, and maximum inhibition rates were obtained against S. lutea and MRSA of wool samples dyed with P. granatum and R. coriaria, respectively, while there was a drastic decrease in E. faecalis growth with the A. cepa (Onion skins) and R. petiolaris (Buckthorn).

Antibacterial Activity of Cationised Cotton Dyed with Some Natural Dyes
Madder, Logwood, Cutch and Chelidonium majus (Greater Celindine) were tested against common pathogens Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Aspergillus favus and Candida albicans. Chelidonium majus dye was most effective and showed maximum zone of inhibition there by indicating best antimicrobial activity against all the microbes tested.

Antimicrobial activity of some natural dyes
Four natural dyes Acacia catechu (Cutch), Kerria lacca (Lac), Quercus infectoria (Oak Galls), Rubia cordifolia (Indian Madder) and Rumex maritimus (Golden Dock) were tested against common pathogens Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Quercus infectoria dye was most effective and showed maximum zone of inhibition thereby indicating best antimicrobial activity against all the microbes tested.

Antibacterial Efficacy of Natural Dye from Melia composita Leaves and Its Application in Sanitized and Protective Textiles
“Almost all these synthetic colorants being synthesized
from petrochemical sources through hazardous chemical processes
pose threat towards the environment and human body health.”
.
“Worldwide environmental consciousness coupled with increased awareness of environmental hazards of synthetic dyes has led to the revival of interest in natural dyes due to their non-polluting and nontoxic nature. Consequently, numerous researches in recent years have focused on development of non toxic and eco-friendly natural dyes for textiles colouration6. Natural dyes are being preferred over synthetics owing to their eco-friendliness i.e. they do not create any
environmental problems at the stage of production or use
. Furthermore, in addition to their dye-yielding characteristics, some of dyeyielding plants also possess medicinal value. Some natural dyes have
intrinsic additional properties such as antibacterial, antifungal, moth
proof, anti-allergy, anti-UV, etc”

Melia composita (China berry) leaves were extracted into boiling water for 70 minutes. The extract was used to dye silk, wool and cotton. The fabric dyed with the natural dye was tested against gram
positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus epidermidis
and Bacillus cereus and gram negative bacteria, Escherichia coli,
Klebsiella pneumonia, Shigella flexneri and Proteus vulgaris. The dyed samples were evaluated against Ampicillin and Streptomycin. Ampicillin and Streptomycin. “The study led to the conclusion that leaves of Melia composita can be a potential source of ecofriendly natural dye with
remarkable antibacterial potency and the textile materials dyed with
this natural dye can be very useful in developing sanitized fabrics for
medical applications and protective clothing to protect users against common infections.

Natural dyes and its Antimicrobial Effect
Textile manufacturers are aware that there is a growing trend to natural and environmentally safe products.The International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT) –Volume-42 Number-3 -December 2016 states that:
“In the early 21st century, the market for natural dyes in the fashion industry is experiencing a resurge.Westernconsumers have become more concerned about the health and environmental impact of synthetic dyes in manufacturing and there is a growing demand for products that use natural dyes.Completely capturing the market with natural dyed fabric is an urgent need to maintain a safe environment. “

Colour, health and wellbeing: The hidden qualities and properties of natural dyes
In the journal of the International Colour Association (2013), Kate Wells discusses the possibilites of the uses of natural dyes to improve the health and well-being of mankind.

More
Plant Dyes and Your Health
How to Sew a Face Mask
No-Nylon Sock Knitting

Natural Dye Books
The Wild Dyer: A Maker’s Guide to Natural Dyes with Projects to Create and Stitch (learn how to forage for plants, prepare textiles for dyeing, and … from coasters to a patchwork blanket)
The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home
The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
>A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present
Natural Dyes: Sources, Traditions, Technology & Science

Eco Hankies – Plant Dyed Cotton Handkerchiefs

Eco Hankies - Naturally Plant Dyed
Eco Hankies – Naturally Plant Dyed Cotton Handkerchiefs

Shop for some naturally plant dyed 100% cotton handkerchiefs in my PaivatarYarn Etsy shop.
– Naturally plant dyed
– eco-friendly
– zero waste
– 100% cotton
– washable, reusable

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How to Sew a Face Mask – P2

How to Sew a Face Mask – Part 2

Hem Inside Pocket Edge

I created a pocket for this mask so that I could add an additional filter inside for more protection. I used the fabric for the back of the mask and hemmed the outside edge.

Hem Stitch Pocket Edge
Hem Stitch Pocket Edge

Hem Pocket Edge 2
Hem Pocket Edge 2

Face Mask Assembly

Pin the Front and Back pieces of the Face Mask together, Right Sides Facing Out.

Face Mask Assembly
Face Mask Assembly

Starting at the Open end of the Mask, stitch around 3 sides, leaving the hemmed side of the mask back open.

Face Mask Assembly
Face Mask Assembly

Add Nose Clip
I dissected the original paper mask and found that the nose clip is made from a zip tie.
I didn’t have any zip ties on hand so decided to use a length of pipe cleaner instead.
I wanted to make the metal clip a bit longer than the original one (8 cm) so cut this to 14 cm.

Zip Tie Nose Clip
Zip Tie Nose Clip

I stitched the length of pipe cleaner to the outside top edge of the mask.

Pipe Cleaner Nose Clip
Pipe Cleaner Nose Clip
Sew Pipe Cleaner
Sew Pipe Cleaner

Stitch Bias Tape to Mask

Pin Bias Tape
Pin Bias Tape

After pinning the bias tape into place, I stitched around the edge of the bias tape.

Pleated Face Mask
Pleated Face Mask

Elastic Ties
The original face mask has elastic ties that wrap around the ears. I found this to be uncomfortable to wear and didn’t seem to hold the mask securely on the face, so I thought that changin the elastic ties to go around the back of the head would be better.
I used 2 mm elastic cord that I purchased from Amazon.
CleverDelights White Fabric Elastic Cord – 30 Feet – 2mm – Crafts Beading Jewelry Stretch Shock Cording
I cut 2 lengths approx. 50 cm each. You may wish to measure the elastic around teh back of your head before you cut the lengths.
I stitched the lengths of elastic to the top and bottom edges on both sides of the mask. It was a bit long, so I adjusted the length with a knot.

Elastic Ties
Elastic Ties

Face Mask Model
Face Mask Model

Face Mask Model 2
Face Mask Model 2

Face Mask Model 3
Face Mask Model 3

Child Size Face Mask
Child Size Face Mask

As I make more of these masks for myself and my family, I will probably be able to perfect the design a bit. I will post updates as I discover better methods.

I think I will also dye the masks, or the fabric prior to sewing them, with natural plant dyes. Partly because I like colour, and partly because natural dyes may offer some additional protection against bacterial growth.

Plant Dyes and Your Health

More
How to Sew A Face Mask – Part 1
How to Sew Bias Tape

How to Sew a Face Mask Part 2 – YouTube

Face Mask Sewing Patterns
Taiwanese Doctor Teaches How To DIY Cloth Face Mask With Air Filter
Craft Passion Face Mask Sewing Pattern
Cotton Time 3 Dimensional Face Mask
The Culture of Wearing Face Masks

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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Pink Purple DK1910

£7.50
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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Green Turquoise Blue DK1909

£7.50
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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Orange Brown DK1908

£7.50
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Sport Weight Pure Wool Yarn sock knitting crochet nalbinding Rya weave Green

£2.50
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Hand Dyed Aran Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Yellow Pink Green A1903

£7.50
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How to Sew a Face Mask

Pleated Facemask Pattern

Since I have developed asthma and had cancer awhile ago, I have found it necessary to wear a face mask when I work with fluffy fibre or with dyes. I have been using the thin paper style of mask and haven’t been entirely happy with how they fit. I find that masks are uncomfortable to wear, and don’t really cover my face properly. I had been thinking about designing my own facemask for some time.
Now that the Corona virus threat is imminent, and face masks are becoming increasingly difficult to purchase, I think it is time to make one.
I realize that a face mask won’t provide a lot of protection from a virus, but something is better than nothing. The masks don’t really keep the viruses out, but they do help to keep you from touching your face or putting your fingers into your mouth, as we often tend to do. In some cultures, it is thought to be considerate to wear a face mask, so that you do not inadvertently sneeze or cough on someone.
Wearing a face mask may also help to protect you from some of the environmental pollution that we currently live in.

Update:
Since I first started writing this post and sewing the mask a few days ago, the Covid situation has further developed in the UK. We were just informed today that those who may be ill, must to stay home for 14 days to prevent spreading the infection further. And those who are +70 or have other underlying health conditions are recommended to self-isolate for +12 weeks.
It seems I designed these masks just in time.
Please stay safe everyone. Wash your hands, wear a mask if you must go out and keep a safe distance from others.
Päivi

Paper Mask
I dissected one of the paper masks to see how they are made.
The paper mask has 3 folds that open up as you wear the mask so that it fits over your mouth and chin.

Paper Face Mask
Paper Face Mask

There is a thin piece of wire at the top of the mask that fits over the bridge of the nose.

Choosing Fabric for the Face Mask
You may be wondering what type of fabric to use for the facemask. The Covid virus particles are very small – so to provide full protection, the mask must be made of very tightly woven fabrics and specially constructed like the N95 type of masks. This is not practical for the average person to obtain.
Some studies have been done about materials and their suitability for DIY facemasks and compared their ability to capture virus size particles. They tested and compared surgical masks, vacuum cleaner bags, tea towels, cotton Tshirts, linen, pillow cases, silk. The vacuum cleaner bags and dish towels performed best but were difficult to breathe through.
Best Materials for a DIY Face Mask

I decided to use a linen fabric for the front of the mask and a lighter weight cotton for the back section.

Please note: This mask is not intended to provide full protection from Covid19 or other viruses, but will help to prevent you from spreading any germs you may have to others.
I am leaving an opening in the side of the mask, so that an additional filter can be placed inside the mask if you wish.
Face Mask Pattern
When wearing this style of mask, I find it a bit narrow, so I thought that I would make my version a bit wider.
I used 2 different fabrics for the outer part of the mask and the inner lining.
The outer portion was a natural linen fabric and the inner one was 100% cotton.
Cut the fabric pieces to size.
Width: 25 cm
Height: 18 cm
You may wish to change the size to fit your requirements.

Pleated Face Mask Sewing Pattern
Pleated Face Mask Sewing Pattern

Pleated Face Mask Pattern PDF
Pleated Facemask Pattern

Mark the Folds
Using a fabric marker, mark the folding lines onto the side of both of the fabrics.

Mark Folding Lines
Mark Folding Lines
Mark Folding Lines
Mark Folding Lines

I have marked these lines in Green.
The finished mask will have 3 accordian folds that open up while the mask is being worn over the face.

Stitch Small Tucks at the Fold Lines.
To make the folds, you will match up the 2 lines at the Top and Bottom of the Folds and pin these in place.
Sew a narrow seam from the edge of the fabric, approx 3 cm in length. This helps to define the fold, making it a bit easier to accordian fold the pleats together.

Stitch Side Tucks
Stitch Side Tucks
Stitch Tucks
Stitch Tucks
Stitched Side Tucks
Stitched Side Tucks

Iron the Folds into Place
Turn the fabric to the Right Side.
Make the Accordian Folds by matching up the Marked lines on the reverse.
You will have 3 Accordian Folds.
Iron these folds to help hold them in place.

Iron Fold 1
Iron Fold 1
Iron Fold 2
Iron Fold 2
Iron Fold 3
Iron Fold 3
Iron Folds
Iron Folds

Stitch the Side of the Folds
Pin and Stitch the Folds into place on the Sides of the fabric.

Pin Folds
Pin Folds
Sew Folds
Sew Folds

Bias Tape Edging
You will need a length of bias tape to sew around the edges of this mask. If you don’t have any, you can make your own, using the same type of fabric that you used for the mask. Here’s how.
The length of the bias tape should be long enough to go around the outside perimeter of the face mask.
You can calculate this by adding up the lengths and widths of the piece of fabric that you have cut.
For example – the fabric size for the mask that I made was 25 cm x 18 cm
25 + 18 + 25 +18 = 86 cm Total Bias Tape Length

Here’s how to Make your own Bias Tape.

NEXT
Face Mask Part 2 – Face Mask Assembly

How to Sew a Pleated Face Mask Part 1- YouTube

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during my upcoming months of Covid quarantine.

Face Mask Sewing Patterns
Taiwanese Doctor Teaches How To DIY Cloth Face Mask With Air Filter
Craft Passion Face Mask Sewing Pattern
Cotton Time 3 Dimensional Face Mask
The Culture of Wearing Face Masks

Plant Dyes and Your Health

Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Pink Purple DK1910

£7.50
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 17:01:31 BST
Buy It Now for only: £7.50
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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Green Turquoise Blue DK1909

£7.50
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 16:57:01 BST
Buy It Now for only: £7.50
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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Orange Brown DK1908

£7.50
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Sport Weight Pure Wool Yarn sock knitting crochet nalbinding Rya weave Green

£2.50
End Date: Thursday Apr-9-2020 14:27:24 BST
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Hand Dyed Aran Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Yellow Pink Green A1903

£7.50
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 16:05:28 BST
Buy It Now for only: £7.50
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How to Make Bias Tape

Hww to Make Bias Tape Binding
Cut a few strips of fabric on the bias using a rotary cutter or scissors. For this mask, I am cutting the tape to approx. 5 cm width.

Cut Bias Tape Strips
Cut Bias Tape Strips

Cut Bias Tape
Cut Bias Tape

Sew Bias Tape into Strips
Place 2 ends of Bias Tape together at an angle, so that when you sew them, the tape opens into a long strip.

Sew Bias Tape Strips
Sew Bias Tape Strips

Sew Bias Tape Strips
Sew Bias Tape Strips

Bias Tape Maker
I discovered a wonderful little tool on Amazon that makes folding Bias Tape an easy task.

Bias Tape Maker
Bias Tape Maker

HONEYSEW Bias Tape Maker Kits All 5 Sizes 6MM 9MM 12MM 18MM 25MM Binding Foot Craft Clips Awl Quilter’s Pin on Amazon

The Bias Tape Maker Kit has 4 different sizes of Bias Tape folding tools.
The kit also has an awl that is used to push the tape through the maker, as well as some push pins and clips.

After the bias tape has been sewn into a long strip, push one end of the tape through the Bias tape tool using the awl.

Bias Tape Making
Bias Tape Making

Bias Tape Tool
Bias Tape Tool

Iron the Bias tape as you are pulling it through the folding tool.

Ironing Bias Tape
Ironing Bias Tape

Folded Bias Tape
Folded Bias Tape

Folded Bias Tape
Folded Bias Tape

That’s it! The bias tape is ready to be sewn onto your new project.

How to Sew a Face Mask – YouTube
https://youtu.be/SGa9QJ4Hln0

How to Sew a Face Mask
How to Sew a Face Mask – Part 2

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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Pink Purple DK1910

£7.50
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 17:01:31 BST
Buy It Now for only: £7.50
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Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Green Turquoise Blue DK1909

£7.50
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 16:57:01 BST
Buy It Now for only: £7.50
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Hand Dyed DK Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Orange Brown DK1908

£7.50
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 16:52:48 BST
Buy It Now for only: £7.50
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Sport Weight Pure Wool Yarn sock knitting crochet nalbinding Rya weave Green

£2.50
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Hand Dyed Aran Wool Yarn BFL 50 gr Variegated Yellow Pink Green A1903

£7.50
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Buy It Now for only: £7.50
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Sigga Heddle Band Weaving

Sami band weaving has traditionally been woven using a small reed made of wood or bone. The heddle has long slots alternating with small holes for the warp. The band is woven by raising or lowering the heddle and passing the weft through the warp opening.
Stoorstalka from Sweden have redesigned the traditional Saami weaving reed using modern materials. Stoorstalka have also designed 3 different styles of reed with additional holes and slots to make weaving patterned bands a bit easier to weave.

One of these is the Sigga Heddle.
The Sigga heddle was designed for weaving block style patterns,traditionally worn by the Ume Saami and Lule Saami.
Sami Band Weaving

Sigga Heddle
Sigga Heddle

The Sigga Heddle has alternating long slots and small holes that are designed to carry the background warp for the woven band. The Sigga style of reed weaves a tabby weave structure for the background of the band.

The Sigga Heddle also has several shorter slots in the centre of the reed. These are for the pattern warp threads.
When raising or lowering the reed, the pattern threads float in the middle of the warp.
When warping the reed, it is suggested that you use a slightly finer weight of yarn for the background threads and a heavier weight of thread for the pattern threads. This helps to make the pattern more visible.
Personally, I think that the Sigga heddle is the easiest reed for a beginner to learn about patterned band weaving.

Sigga Heddle Weaving
Sigga Heddle Weaving

In order to weave the pattern, the shuttle is passed either over or under the middle pattern threads. Passing the yarn under the pattern threads, raises the pattern to the surface of the band.
Passing the shuttle over the pattern threads lowers the pattern to the reverse side of the band.
A mirror image of the pattern will be created on the reverse side of the band.

To add additional pattern variety to the woven band, you may pick up and raise part of the middle pattern threads, instead of all of them.
The patterns are generally woven with 3 repeating picks of the shuttle, though you may want to experiment with a varied number of picks to see what pattern effects you can create.

Sigga 8 Pattern Draft
Here is a weaving draft that I recently made using the Sigga 8 weaving heddle.
I used the same weight of wool yarn for both the background and the pattern threads. In my next project I will use cotton for the background and wool for the pattern threads.
Warp: Áhkko 4 ply wool yarn. This is a wool yarn developed by Stoorstalka (the wool is spun in Italy) and is pure wool, non-superwash.
To make a 2 meter belt, I threaded 3 meters of warp yarn.
I used the same 4 ply wool yarn for the weft of the band.

Sigga Weaving Draft
Sigga Weaving Draft

To weave the band, I lowered and raised the reed on alternate picks, passing the shuttle through the warp.
To weave the block pattern, I passed the shuttle under the pattern threads for 3 picks of the shuttle.
Alternating with 3 picks, over the pattern threads.
Sami Belt Woven on Sigga heddle.
Sami Belt Woven on Sigga heddle.

Sigga Heddle Woven Band
Sigga Heddle Woven Band

Paivatar Yarn on Etsy
If you are looking for Stoorstalka weaving reeds and supplies, please check out my shop on Etsy.

Saamenpuku sitoo ihmiset yhteen
Traditional Saami Clothing Brings People Together
(Google translation may be required)

Quick Guide to Saami Culture
A discussion about Sámi Gákti, wearing Saami clothing and cultural misappropriation.

Saami Band Weaving
What is Sami Duodji
Saami Band Weaving Drafts: samidrafts
Saami Pickup Weaving Pattern: blsami6
Rigid Heddle Band Weaving: Beaivi video
Double Slot Weaving Reed
Band weaving: aa101111
Saami: aa092401
Bands and Braids: braiding
Double Hole Rigid Heddle: aa042009

Band Weaving Books

Weaving Patterned Bands: How to Create and Design with 5, 7, and 9 Pattern Threads

Handwoven Tape: Understanding and Weaving Early American and Contemporary Tape

Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving

Weaving Bands: Woven bands / Table Bands / Plaited Bands / Insertion Bands

Stoorstalka Heddles on Ebay
I now sell some of the Stoorstalka heddles through my shop Paivatar Yarn Shop on EBay.

Sunna7 Band Weaving Reed Heddle Stoorstalka Baltic Style

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Sigga8 Band Weaving Reed Heddle Stoorstalka Sami tape loom

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Plant Dyes and Your Health

Did you know that textiles dyed with plant dyes can be good for you?
As a part of my personal search for a healthier lifestyle, I am on an ongoing quest to learn more about natural plant dyes, their uses and how to achieve the range of colours that plant dyes can produce. In this age of mass production, I fear that we are losing much of the knowledge that our ancestors had about how to make things using the raw materials that nature provides.

In my latest googling, I made a remarkable discovery (well, remarkable to me at least, as I had never heard of this before) Most natural plant dyes are anti-microbial. When yarns or fabrics are dyed using natural dyes and come into contact with bacteria, they prevent their spread.

Amazing, right? It is amazing to think that our ancestors who made and wore natural plant dyed fabrics, before the days of antibiotics or even much knowledge about germs, were also giving themselves protection against the spread of disease- Naturally.

Nature looks after us. The trees and plants clean our air. Roots of some plants clean up the soil, removing hazardous materials. Plants provide humans and other animals food to live on. Plants provide us with clothing (such as flax and cotton) Before the age of pharmaceuticals, plants were used as medicines. Plants also add colour to our clothing. And in addition to that, the natural dyes from the plants reduced the spread of harmful bacteria.

Yet here we are, purposefully destroying our whole eco-system that has sustained us for thousands of years.
We are becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effects of fossil fuels, of the use of plastics that pollute our rivers and streams, of the destruction of the rain forests. The problem seems insurmountable as our planet struggles with climate change.

I think to tackle part of this plastics problem, we have to start small, with the positive things that we can do within our own environment. Saying no to plastic bags, re-using and recycling whenever possible. Making changes to our buying habits. Shopping for locally produced foods and materials. Read labels – don’t buy products that contain plastics, acrylics, polyester.

As part of this, I think that textile crafters can play a huge part in this – choosing not to use yarns and fabrics that contain plastic content. Buy natural wools, cottons, linen, hemp, alpaca, mohair, silk and other natural fibres instead. Say no to superwash yarns. And in helping to revive the traditional crafts and skills of textiles, working with fibres, spinning, weaving, natural dyes. I know that it is currently quite difficult to source and find natural wools but a few are still available. Yes, clothes may need a bit of extra care when washing, but then you know that your washing machine is not flushing micro-plastics into our water systems.

Clothing is one of our major commodities and fabric and clothing manufacturing is a high polluter. If demand for plastics and synthetic fibres diminish, the industry will change. Knit, crochet, weave and wear yarns and clothing that have been dyed with natural plant materials rather than harmful synthetic dyes. Experiment with using and making natural dyes. Some of these dye plants can be found in your kitchen – such as promegranate peels, onion skins, turmeric and other spices. If you have space, plant some trees and a dye garden. The bonus of using natural materials rather than synthetics is, that your clothing might also provide you with some protection against diseases, reducing the need for antibiotic use.

NEXT:
Anti-microbial Effects of Natural Dyes
Natural dyes are a good thing. In my research, I came across numerous research studies that have been done in the past several years about dye plants and their effectiveness against harmful microbes.

MORE
Plant Dyes and Your Health
How to Sew a Face Mask
No-Nylon Sock Knitting

Natural Dye Books
The Wild Dyer: A Maker’s Guide to Natural Dyes with Projects to Create and Stitch (learn how to forage for plants, prepare textiles for dyeing, and … from coasters to a patchwork blanket)

The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home
The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
>A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present
Natural Dyes: Sources, Traditions, Technology & Science

Eco Hankies – Plant Dyed Cotton Handkerchiefs

Eco Hankies - Naturally Plant Dyed
Eco Hankies – Naturally Plant Dyed Cotton Handkerchiefs

Shop for some naturally plant dyed 100% cotton handkerchiefs in my PaivatarYarn Etsy shop.
– Naturally plant dyed
– eco-friendly
– zero waste
– 100% cotton
– washable, reusable

Follow me on:
All Fiber Arts Newsfeed
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
during my upcoming months of Covid quarantine.

Flame of the Forest Dye

Flame of the Forest Natural Plant Dye
Butea monosperma

for 100 grams of fibre
20 grams Flame of the Forest Dye Powder
Put Flame of the Forest into dye pot.
Let simmer in dyepot for +1 hour at 50 deg.
Add pre-mordanted wool yarn and sample fabrics.
Let simmer in dyepot for +1 hour.
Remove the wool yarn. Let this cool and rinse thoroughly to remove the excess dye powder.
Turn the heat off the dyepot and leave the linen and cotton samples to soak overnight. More colour will continue to develop as the dyebath cools.

All cellulose fibres, yarns and fabrics must be scoured prior to mordanting or dyeing. Please see my previous article on how to do this.
How to Scour Linen

Flame of the Forest Natural Dye - Butea monosperma
Flame of the Forest Natural Dye – Butea monosperma

For these samples, I used several different linen and cotton fabrics as well as wool yarn.

Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples
Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples

Bleached Cotton
Unbleached Cotton
Bleached Linen
Linen/Cotton Blend
Natural Linen (light weight)
Natural Linen (heavy weight)

Please look for my naturally dyed yarns in my Paivatar Yarn Shop on Etsy.

Natural Plant Dyed Sock Wool
Natural Plant Dyed Sock Wool

More about Naturally Dyed Yarns
Apple Leaf Dye
Madder Root Dye
Alkanet Root Dye
Brazilwood Dye
Himalayan Rhubarb Plant Dye

Natural Dye Books

Indigo from Seed to Dye

Indigo: Dye It, Make It: Techniques from plain and dip-dyeing to tie-dyeing and batik, in natural indigo blue

Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

Natural Dyes

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

Dyes and Mordants on Ebay

Alum - Potassium Aluminum Sulfate - Mordant - Potash Alum - 4 oz

$5.25
End Date: Monday Apr-13-2020 22:06:54 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $5.25
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1/2 lb Alum Aluminum Sulfate for Marbling Supplies Marbled Goods Mordant Paper

$11.25
End Date: Thursday Apr-16-2020 2:00:07 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $11.25
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Natural Mordant for Natural Dyeing

$10.98
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 10:28:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.98
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

I gathered some Eucalyptus leaves during a recent visit to Corfu. Eucalyptus makes a wonderful dye, both from the leaves and the bark.
I dyed both wool and some cellulose fabrics (linen and cotton)

To make the dye, I used 50 grams of Eucalyptus leaves and put them into a dye pot filled with water.
I simmered the dyepot for +1 hour at 50 degrees Celsius.
I then added the mordanted wool and fabric samples to the dyepot.
I simmered the dyepot for +1 hour.
Then I turned off the heat and let the dyepot cool and left it overnight. I find that I get stronger colours when leaving the yarn to soak longer.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye
Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

All cellulose fibres, yarns and fabrics must be scoured prior to mordanting or dyeing. Please see my previous article on how to do this.
How to Scour Linen

For these samples, I used several different linen and cotton fabrics as well as wool yarn.

Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples
Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples

Unbleached Cotton
Bleached Linen
Linen/Cotton Blend
Natural Linen (light weight)
Natural Linen (heavy weight)

Please look for my naturally dyed yarns in my Paivatar Yarn Shop on Etsy.

More about Naturally Dyed YarnsApple Leaf Dye
Madder Root Dye
Alkanet Root Dye
Brazilwood Dye
Himalayan Rhubarb Plant Dye

Indigo from Seed to Dye

Indigo: Dye It, Make It: Techniques from plain and dip-dyeing to tie-dyeing and batik, in natural indigo blue

Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

Natural Dyes

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

Dyes and Mordants on Ebay

Alum - Potassium Aluminum Sulfate - Mordant - Potash Alum - 4 oz

$5.25
End Date: Monday Apr-13-2020 22:06:54 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $5.25
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1/2 lb Alum Aluminum Sulfate for Marbling Supplies Marbled Goods Mordant Paper

$11.25
End Date: Thursday Apr-16-2020 2:00:07 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $11.25
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Natural Mordant for Natural Dyeing

$10.98
End Date: Tuesday Apr-28-2020 10:28:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.98
Buy It Now | Add to watch list