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Friday, October 21, 2011

"Dyeing" to Try This



Since I started felting again and being interested in all the fiber arts, I have been dying to try dyeing something!  This leftover beet juice seemed the perfect opportunity!

There are numerous blogs and websites out there that teach about how to dye wool or silk or cotton with natural pigments.  Most all of them recommend having a mordant.  A mordant is a substance that allows whatever dye you are using to stick to your fiber.

I didn't have any alum.  That is the most common mordant used in home dyeing.  But I did have some cream of tartar.  I sprinkled a little into the beet juice and then soaked my piece of wool roving in it overnight.  (This is not actually the proper method.)  When I rinsed it clear in the morning, I was expecting a lovely shade of pink or purple.  What I got was the lightest flesh tone.  But it took!

Check out these websites from those who really know what they are doing:

http://www.navajorugsart.com/Washing,_Carding,_Spinning,_&_Dyeing_Wool_(Using_Natural_Dyes)_for_Weaving_Navajo_Rugs.htm

http://www.jennydean.co.uk/wordpress/

http://stolte.wordpress.com/tag/dyeing/

And keep watching.....I'm going to be doing more of this in the future!  It's just so fun to see what colors you can get!






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