Somehow with lockdown, there were other things to do and worry about and surprisingly I did not feel like doing any natural dyeing. As I got the garden more ordered I suddenly felt like I could do some natural dyeing. I decided to try some garden plants I had not explored at all, or only used in solar dyeing.
I found twelve 10g skeins, six in each of two different 4 ply wools, but had no idea if they were mordanted. I usually label everything I can so decided they needed to be treated as ‘just skeins’.
I decided I would put them into four groups of three and sample the dye material on it’s own and use over dyeing or modifiers for two further skeins. In this way I would get an idea how I might treat they dye material in the future or if I would use it at all. As you can see below I aimed to match the skeins to some stimulus material.
So this is how they were treated and what has resulted.
All were scoured and mordanted with alum first.
‘The barn door ‘ - Dyed with Peony heads
Peony on its own : plus madder : plus copper
‘ Rust at Ravenglass Beach’ -dyed with seed heads, leaves and stems
From the dyebath : plus madder and cochineal : plus iron
‘Sunset at a windmill in North Norfolk’ - dyed with whole plant except the roots
From the dyebath: iron 1 : iron 2
‘ A Shetland sunset’ - dyed with plant and buds but not roots
From the dyebath : madder 1 : madder 2
The whole set of twelve ‘go together’ as they tend to do with natural dyeing.
Myself I prefer the Shetland Sunset batch.... now I wonder why that might be?My next favourite is the North Norfolk sunset with the toning greens. I am thinking I might try more of a range like this next time. It is ‘knowledge and experience’ judging the time to stop when a skein is in a dye bath and of course, just to add a further complication, when the skein is dry it is a lighter colour.