Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I tried it out

With the last post I showed that I had some yarns soaking in alum and cream of tartar getting ready to try out a natural dye bath of black beans. So as a refresher - a single of polworth, three ply of polworth, merino two ply and a two ply of merino-alpaca-silk. I put in two bags of black beans in a couple of pots and while the yarns were in the mordant, they soaked overnight.

The next morning I wrung out the water and transferred them to the bean pots:
Just added to the crock

Just added to the pot

After 24 hours

After 24 hours

After 48 hours all in one big pot

After 5 days

Kind of a blue-grey
Out in true lighting - very grey
So with the less than impressive results, I decided I'd do a Kool-Aid dye bath. Two packages of Blue Raspberry and one of Lemon-lime all into a Pyrex measuring cup (I have a HUGE one) but the green really popped as the dominant color. So I pulled out some Wilton icing dye and added in a dollop or two of blue. Stirred and popped the yarns into the cup and heated. As you can see below, they all took the colors differently. Fascinating really. ;-)
Left to right - three ply Polworth, merino-alpaca-silk, merino, and polworth single.

I am going to try dyeing again with the black beans. Next time I'll only use the alum to mordant and I'm going to try using vinegar after it comes out of the pot. I also think I could get away with just letting it soak for two full days.

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