Sunday, March 30, 2008

Brazilwood Plant dyeing

Well I have pulled out the tubs of dyeing material (put away for the Christmas crowd) and now its back.  Poor Erik - I usually have my pots of dye boiling more than pots of dinner cooking.  He is so patient with me.  This time I have started with Brazilwood.  I bought them from Sunbridge college you can contact them here.  -  then click on programs then click on craft studio. 
I have the chunks of wood, see picture, so I then split the wood into very thin sticks and snapped them up - to then get as much sufface area of the stick to the water- plopped them in water.  I heat the water up to a slight simmer and then turn off the heat and let it soak overnight.  I then heat the water up again and then its ready to use.  You can always soak it longer or take the sticks out -dry them- and then re soak in the same water another 24 hours.   Red/orange dyes work well and become redder if you grate some chalk into the dye.  This time I used just staright dye - no chalk.
I prewet the wool yarn (this is Merino wool) in warm water and made sure it was soaked all the way thru.  You will get paler color in spots if it was prewet unevenly.  

Place the yarn i the dye and push it under the liquid.  This wool was left in the very hot but not boiling dye for 15-20 minutes.  The color is a strong red pink.  Much redder than a cocheneil but not a Christmas red.  The light red photo is done with a flash the other is back lit.

I am starting to make some sample cards of the dye I am using and I have quite a few - here is an example of one of them.  Its not finished - it looks too clean to me.  I have to embelish it a bit.


Teaching Handwork said...

Wonderful pictures!!! I LOVE the color!

Allison Fouse said...

Yes, the color IS beautiful! Dying fibers with natural materials seems like it would be a very soul comforting project. So what are you going to do with all that yarn? =)