Sunday, January 13, 2008

Apple Dye Update

So, the apple bark has been soaking in the garage since 12/27. For those who aren't interested in dyeing or natural dyeing, this may be a boring topic and the picture may look weird. Even disgusting. Sorry about that.

I see pink. Do you? This may be a good sign.

I simmered the water with the bark still in for about ten minutes. You are not supposed to boil it -- too much tannin will get out in the dye and dull the color, my book says.

I didn't weigh the bark before I soaked it, but my guess is about 200 g. I am using about 50 g of corriedale. The dye stuff - fiber ratio is supposed to be 1 - 1, but I'm being conservative. I really want some pink this time.

Here's what the white wool looks like in the dye bath. From my (limited) experience, the dye bath and the wool should look much darker. Not a good sign. It's now simmering on the stove, and I will keep it in the dye bath overnight and see what happens.

One of the reasons I am fascinated by natural dyeing is that with it we can become less dependent on the chemicals. I don't use any harsh or toxic mordant or afterbath; only thing I'd use is alum and vinegar. Using things like chrome and copper, although they might produce beautiful shades, defeats the purpose of natural dyeing, in my opinion.

The more I learn, the more I gravitate towards organics -- fibers included. This gets me more motivated about attending the Summer Intensive at Golden Gate Fiber Institute. Judith McKenzie McCuin are famous as a organic fiber advocate.

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