Monday, October 22, 2012

Dyeing at Hagley's Craft Fair

Yesterday Linda Shinn, Carol Ireland, Gerry Scarfe, Sjon Gravenhorst, and I put on a natural dyeing demonstration at the Hagley Craft Fair.
It was a beautiful fall day, and we spread out and took up quite a chunk of real estate just outside the library.
I believe these are calendula blossom petals. They didn't really give good color of any sort, but that's part of the fun of dyeing with natural materials: you never know quite what you'll get.
Even though my point-and-shoot camera doesn't do a very good job at accurately capturing true colors, I think you'll get an idea of the range of final colors we got from indigo, walnut hulls, cochineal, chrysanthemum petals, onion skins, madder, and goldenrod blossoms on wool, cotton, silk, and angora.
Linda brings along a small basket filled with naturally dyed mini-skeins. See that orange tie at around the 9:00 position? That's connecting the three yellowish skeins. All were dyed with -- gaa! drawing a blank. However, they're different because they were mordanted with different products. Interesting, no?
As I type this, these four 4-oz. lengths of roving are drying (still!) out on my deck. Left to right, they are walnut hulls (late in the dyeing session), walnut hulls (early in the dyeing session), madder (nearly exhausted dyepot), and dried yellow chrysanthemum blossoms. The walnut requires no mordant, but the madder and chrysanthemum both had alum and, I think, cream of tartar, in the dyebath. All four colors will be rolled into bumps and put into the Greenbank Mill gift shop since the roving is from the Greenbank Leicester longwool sheep.
Now is the time to begin plotting and planning on what natural dyeing you can do now and in the coming year. Have fun!


  1. Trying again...
    That looks so fun! And if they did these kind of things in my science classes, I would have paid more attention.

  2. Man, I missed out. Looks like you all had a lot of fun! Love all the colors you got!

    And why? Why did I go out and get another pot for dyeing and a burner for indoor dyeing? I don't even know what to harvest to dye yet. But I do have books. If I could just stop looking at photos and really READ them, I could get somewheres...