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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Madder and Logwood Natural Dye

Happy days, literally as the process does take more than a day.  The logwood color is closer to the top photo,  that is the purple one.  This is Clun Forest fleece which I prepared with Alum.   I then had some powdered logwool and powdered madder.  The books say you should never use powdered madder,  well never mind I did.  I left the powders soaking over night in the saucepans and then added the fleece.  I kept the saucepan containing the madder just below boiling as it explained in my books but I had no fancy thermometer so it was just guess work.  the logwood I boiled.  Then left them over night to cool and rinsed them this morning using soapy water to start with.
So many people say that dyeing is too difficult,  all those measurements they say.  Well I am a hit and miss person and I reckon using natural dyes is an inexact science so just relax and enjoy.  The mordant needs to fairly accurate but again I was definitely light on the Alum as that was all I had.  The plant material,  this is always different as no 2 lots of plant matter are going to be the same.  Weather and time of the year being an influence on the color you will get.   So I suggest give it a try.  You will need some mordant, alum is the safest, and a few large stainless steel saucepans.  At this time of the year Ivy leaves give a good color and they are easy to get.  Make sure you use pure wool and if it is merino it is super wash otherwise it will felt. Go for it my friends 

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