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03 September 2013

dyeing







I've grown Hopi Dye sunflowers in the past, but never got around to using them for natural dyeing.  This year, I decided to try using my Moulin Rouge sunflowers with some natural colored peace fleece wool (Thanks, Tonya!)

Using some info from my great find (50% off at a local bookstore), I simmered the sunflowers (and stems) for about 30 minutes.  Then I let the dye bath cool.  
Meanwhile, I put my (already wet) wool into a mordant bath with alum and cream of tartar.  Seems like there is a lot of variation for how much to use, but I used 6 g cream of tartar and 18 g alum for 100 g of wool.  This simmered for about an hour.  I was careful to heat it slowly and not stir the wool much for fear of felting.  
Now, being inexperienced and not finding info easily, I tried to remove excess water and then put the wool into my dye bath.  I let it soak for 20-30 minutes and then gently rinsed it.  

I wish more of the purple color stayed, but it's mostly a grey color now.

Please feel free to chime in with any insights or advice for me.  I haven't dyed wool naturally since college (!!) and I've never used sunflowers before.

2 comments:

  1. I think it turned out beautifully, purple, but not over the top purple. Just the way I personally like my colours to turn out. Just look out, though...it's addictive. Soon you will be looking at every plant wondering what colour it will give.

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  2. It looks great, just the perfect hue I think. I have no advice, I am reading this in awe, hoping one day I will give this a try.

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