Monday, 7 September 2015

Day 24 Creativity - Dyeing with Apple

I have seen a friend obtain beautiful soft shades of peach and yellow from dyeing with Apple. I have never tried to dye with Apple so thought I would give it a try. I am going to try sample skeins with the bark and the leaves- separately.
So the first job is to get enough bark to dye with. Usually increasing the surface area helps and another friend also suggested bark chips. So that is what I will try with soaking over 2/3 weeks.
Jill Goodwin, a dyer who I respect suggests soaking in soft water and also adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each batch while soaking so I will try both there tips. I guess the acidity from the vinegar is to help the rotting process. She notes pinks, browns, buffs and yellow so that is a wider range than I was expecting.
The leaves might be less useful, I have read that leaves in spring are what is needed.... But the leaves are looking healthy so I am going to have a try.
That was the theory, the practicalities of getting 100 g of Apple bark from my lovely old tree has proved more difficult than I thought! The large branches are all covered in lichen which I decided would affect the dyeing. So I stuck to your branches about a third the width of my little finger so getting 100g of bark from them turned out to be a laborious task. I thought I had a lot but when weighed it was 20g!! But I was surprised that after 3 hours soaking in water it looked like below. I think this must be a good sign.
Once this has had a good soak I will go about shredding leaves for the dyeing session.
The friend has just told me that she has tried apple skin and core too....something else to think about as I gather the windfalls.

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