3 litres water
25 grams alum
10 grams cream of Tartar
Bring to boil and then let cool
100 gram wool yarn tied in skein
Rinse the clean washed yarn in cool water
Add the yarn into the cool mordant bath and bring it to 80-90 C degrees
Simmer for 1 hour
Remove and let cool
Fungi Dye Bath
Cut the mushroom into small pieces with a knife
50 grams dried mushrooms
5 litres wate
Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 hours
Let dyebath cool
Strain the liquid and store the cooked mushrooms. They can be used again in an afterbath
Add mordanted yarn to strained dyebath liquid
Return to heat and simmer for 1 hour at 80-90 degrees Celsius
Remove the yarn from the dyebath
Add 50 ML ammonia to the dyebath When using ammonia take precautions and wear protective gloves
Also avoid getting too close to the dyebath and breathing in the fumes
Test with litmus paper or a digital pH tester
The dyebath should be about 7 pH
Add the yarn back into the dyebath
It should change colour to a violet or reddish shade
Let simmer for about another hour
In our sample dyebath we had problems keeping the pH level at around 7. So we had to remove the yarn a few times and add more ammonia
Remove from heat source and let cool
Rinse in water that is of similar temperature as dyebath to avoid shocking the yarn and causing felting to occur.
Having read India Flint’s wonderful book on eco colour and printing, I discovered that you can get some beautiful natural dyes using Eucalyptus leaves. So during a recent holiday in Corfu, I gathered a bag full of Eucalyptus leaves from the trees that were growing along the roadsides and thought I would give it a try.
The leaves had dried out by the time I started this project. So I sprayed them with a bit of water to moisten them. Then I layed the leaves out onto one side of a silk scarf that I had dampened with water.
When I had spread out all the Eucalyptus leaves, I turned the scarf over to cover the leaves.
I then rolled the scarf around a cardboard tube.
I tightly wrapped the dye package with linen yarn so that all of the bundle was covered.
I then placed the silk scarf dye package into a dyepot and let it simmer for a few hours – no mordant was used. Then I turned the heat off and put a lid onto the pot.
It can take several days for all of the colour to disperse from the Eucalyptus leaves and to imprint onto the silk fabric.
I let this dyepot sit untouched for about 3 weeks. The dypeot will get a bit smelly as the dye ferments, so it is best to leave it outside while the dye matures.
The Eucalyptus dye project looks very hopeful as I begin to unwrap the scarf. The linen yarn that I wrapped the dye package with has a nice colour.
It worked! I am quite happy with the result 🙂
There is still quite a bit of dye colour in the dyebath, so I think I will try to reuse the dyebath and dye something else.
Logwood Natural Dye Haematoxylum campechianum
Logwood comes from a tree native to the West Indies and the Yucatan Peninsula. The heartwood yields a dye that gives pinks, blues, purples and greens depending on the mordants.
Use clean, premordanted wool or yarn.
Measure the Logwood chips or sawdust (25% – 50% WOG) into a nylon stocking and into small dish.
Add water and allow to sit overnight.
The dyebath should be purplish-red. If it is brown, add washing soda, a teaspoon at a time, until the dyebath turns purple-red.
Pour the stocking and the water into dyepot filled with hot water and simmer for 1 hour.
Add premordanted fibre or yarn into the dyepot and simmer for 1 hour.
Allow the dyepot to cool.Remove the fibre or yarn from the dyepot, rinse and let dry.
Remove the fibre or yarn from the dyepot, rinse and let dry.
[sc name=”adsense-in-ad”] Tips:
Try alum or tin premordants.
You can reuse the exhaust dyebaths to create other colours.
Try overdyeing with Osage Orange for greens, or with Saxon blue Indigo for dark blues.
Look for naturally dyed tote bags in my SpinFlora shop on Etsy.