mercredi 25 novembre 2009

Dyeing with walnut husks

Now this spinning bug has gripped me I was very soon bored with spinning the white cheviot fleece and wanted to experiment. I loked on Google and found some recipes for walnut dye. So out I went to search for husks, found plenty caught in the netting of the peacock enclosure. I peeled them from the nuts and my fingers became very black.....hmmmmm...remeber gloves next time.

I covered the husks with a mix of water and red wine vinegar about 50/50. Red wine vinegar was all I had at the time and so I expect this influenced the colour as well....remember to buy some white. Heated all together to boiling point and let simmer for an hour on very low temperature. Added 3 tablespoons of coarse salt stirred to disolve. Strained mixture and put into glass jar that would fit in the microwave.

I had previously washed some fleece and dried it, I have dyed clothes before and have always put them into the dye bath wet, so I gently wetted the wool again in quite hot water so that it was of similar temperature to the dye bath which had cooled a little. If the temperatures are not the same then there is a danger of the wool felting. Also do not stir or pour any other water on top of any wool in a dye bath or while washing.

Gently put the wool, about 100gms into the jam jar, I say 'about because I was not following a precise recipe, just put in enough wool so that the dye covers all the wool Slowly and gently push the wool down into the dye to make sure dye goes through all the wool. Do not pack too tight as result could be patchy.

Microwave on high for a minute, let cool a little and repeat. Now I was frightened when it started to boil so did not continue. There is a very good video by showing the microwave method. I left the wool in the jar of dye over night. The next morning I strained the wool from the dye - keep the mixture to dye some more wool a paler shade - amd slowly and gently rinsed the wool, this time in cold water as the jar of water had cooled over night.

Squeeze out gently and tease the wool apart to spread out to dry.

See results on next posting.

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