I’m at the end of my rope really but it’s like walking into a brick wall. Anyway, life goes on even without phone. Just on that note: if you do want to contact me: email me or message me on ravelry or facebook. Sending me text messages or calling me has absolutely no effect whatsoever…..I will not hear you….it’s like living under a dome here at the moment….
Last week was all about dyeing with red cabbage. Well, this week I thought I would “talk” (hahaha) a bit about dyeing with Rheum Rhaponticum…..sounds kind of like Rapunzel but its ..Rhubarb !! yes, you can dye with rhubarb! It’s a very versatile plant that tastes nice in jams and compotes but if you use the poisenous leaves of the rhubarb plant you can create pale yellow and green colours. In all it creates these woodland like colours ranging from yellow to green, bronze and copper. If you want strog deep colours you do not use the leaves, but instead use the roots, fresh or dried! What is also very nice to know is that Rhubarb leaves, you know the poisenous ones, make so called oxalic acid, if you simmer them for about an hour or so. This oxalic acid you can ten use on your fibre after mordanting and dyeing, to make the colour more green. Always nice to kow that you can use this as a modifier.
Do you need to use mordants? Yes you do. The type of mordants you use has a huge effect on what colours you get. I tend to stick to alum but what is so magical about natural dyeing is that its not only the mordant you use, but also how you can manipulate the colour with so called modifiers.
Mordants: with alum you will get nice ochres and yellows that you can modify into greens; with chrome you get a deep red, copper , iron and tin will produce nice woodland greens .
So, here is the recipe:
100 grams of hemp fibres or cotton fabric
50grams of rhubarb root (dried and in a powder is best)
about 4 liters of rainwater (yes, rainwater is best, because the chemicals added to drinking water will change the colours or have different effects on your natural dyeing)
alum as a mordant...20grams and 10g of washing soda
rhubarb leaves that have simmered for an hour gets you oxalic acid…add this to the exhaust bath as a modifier to get greener shades
make a paste with the dried rhubarb powder,, add to water and simmer for 1 hour before you filter it and steep over night!
Add your yarn or fibres to the dyebath and simmer it on low for an hour. Never let it boil!
Do not take the fibres or yarn out of the dyebath. Let it all cool down naturally or, until you like the depth of colour in your yarn or fibre.
Take it out, rinse it all in luke warm to cool water and dry in the shade. Voila! Your own woodland hemp recipe !
Next week I will delve into some other dyeing magic and tell you another secret ! shhhhhhhhhhh ;-)
Welcome to the magical world of natural dyeing !
Dates to Remember:
Sunday 29th-September 2013 from 9.30am to 3 pm
And now: drumroll!!!!
Hand dyed IxCHeL Lush Bunny Tops
a unique IxCHeL blend of Angora Rabbit , Super fine merino 17micron, tencel and cashmere !
It spins like a dream, is super soft and fluffy and felts beautifully as well ! and it has that pearlescent glow of the tencel that just cant be beat !
UNIQUE to IxCHeL ! you will be hooked once you have tried spinning this blend!