Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nettle dye pot

I'm finally getting these up - sorry it took so long.  
Here is the nettle colored yarn and such.  I put it next to the Hibiscus color for reference.   I softly simmered the nettles after soaking them for 24 hours.  I then strained the liquid and set in my samples.  I then left them in there overnight (starting with really hot dye) stirring it when I walked by.  The next morning (always a reason to jump out of bed - to check the color) I found a beautiful soft green.   Left is a Lopi wool yarn and the right is a sheet of wool felt. 
The mordant that I always use is Alum and cream of tartar. For 1 pound of wool I use 4 oz of Alum and 1 oz of Cream of tartar.   If you keep the same pot of mordant water you can mordant another batch of stuff with only adding 1/3 the original amount, saves time and $.  Sometimes I use after bath wash of water and ammonia - then wash it well or a jar of 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water with rusty nails in it and then use some of that liquid as an after bath wash to change the color. sometimes it can be a dramatic change sometimes just a little one. For the Nettles I found that after baths didn't change the color and I stuck with just the mordant of Alum and CoT.   I have been pulling weed out of the "dyers" garden and pulled up these huge roots (nasty spreading huge leafed weed!) with a yellow tinge and I am now soaking these - it will be my next pot.  I have to search out the plant picture on the web and see what it is...

5 comments:

Lisa Anne said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, I am eyeing the nettles in my greenhouse everyday. I am not sure what CoT is? We are very excited about finding a 4-H project book that Amelia can use for the fair, I think this is the first year that this book is available, I never wanted Amelia to join 4-h because the projects can be so hokey. We are transforming them into Waldorf inspired projects. Would you be interested in having two companions some afternoon when you do dyeing? We would love to help or just watch you do it.

woolladyfelter said...

CoT - is my abreviation for Cream of Tartar (sorry) I hope you do some of this - its so much fun! I have a planned dyeing day at my house on Sat June 14th and I would love to have you come. I will send you an email when I get more detailed info. Save the date.

Cynthia said...

you are such a hippie! pulling out your neighbor's weeks and dying with them... you can come be *my* neighbor! I'm sure i've got a BUNCH of nasty rooty things you can boil! ;) love you -C

Teaching Handwork said...

I want to come over!!!!

Celandine said...

Wow! Your hibiscus produced beautiful results. I haven't had luck with my attempts to natural dye from local plants, but I am going to keep watching your endeavors! Thanks for visiting Buttercup Corner.