Wednesday, January 20, 2016

More Over-Dyeing - The Logwood Makeover

More skeins that are rather bright, and in some cases a little mottled from bleeding during rinsing from JB. These were re-mordanted with alum and then rinsed well.
When I brought them home there was indeed no washout of color when wetting them down for the dyepot. The dyepot is leftover logwood from the last dye day. This pot (started from 4 oz log wood) has already dyed almost 2 lbs of fiber. Since there was clearly life left in the pot, I added these skeins (about 1 lb total), plus a small one of my own to see what I would get with a white skein. Pre-wetted warmed skeins went into the pre-warmed dye bath and simmered low and slow for about 30 minutes and then cooled in the pot for about 3 hours. The results below are stunning. The rather bright colors are nicely muted and the mottled skeins are showing only slight variegation. My white skein came out a medium purple.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Over Dyeing in Logwood

Transformations can be so magical. Two shots below of a scarf pre- and post-overdyeing with logwood. Below that is gray-green produced by over-dyeing skein originally dyed with yellow onion with logwood. The rule of thumb I've developed over the years is that if you don't like the color, overdyeing in blue will make it better.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Over-dye in Reverse - Indigo & Yellow Onion

In the usual way of things, if you want green from natural dyes and are using indigo, typically you dye with the plant material that will give yellow followed by over-dyeing with indigo. The reason being that indigo tends to be a very strong dye and it is easier to control color and depth of shade by using multiple dips of indigo until you have the green you want. In this case the yarn had been dyed with indigo by a fiber friend who told me it was crocking badly and wondered if I could try dyeing it with the leftover yellow onion dye bath from one of my on farm dye days. Thinking this would be a fun experiment, I readily agreed. My first step was to wash out the excess indigo using synthrapol - it took a lot of rinsing, but eventually the rinse water was much lighter. I then gave the skein a bath in 20/80 white vinegar/water which yielded a clean rinse. The next step was to heat up the leftover dye bath and also add back in the fine mesh bag containing the onion (removing the bag of wet plant material and allowing it to dry prevents mold). The yarn was simmered for 30 minutes and allowed to cool down in the dye pot overnight prior to final rinsing. The two pictures below show before and after - definite darkish green with blues. The small skein in the lower second picture is one that I simmered after the indigo skein had been removed; the purpose was to see if I could still get yellow out of the dye pot, which clearly was the case. The great thing about this kind of experiment is that the yarn goes back to the original owner and I don't have yet another dye experiment skein for which I don't have a purpose.