The Natural Dyes workshop put on by WEA was great fun, if a tad frustrating at times! We were definitely hampered by having just a few hotplates but we made the best of it and shared each our respective dyepots.
It was fascinating to see how various fibres coloured in the same dyepot – they ended up vastly different colours sometimes.
|All of the items in this photograph, apart from
the lace on the far right, were dyed in the
dyepot containing cochineal and madder
The fabrics and fibres absorbed the dye completely differently. I don’t know if this was because our pots were fairly small leading to the items being squashed. Also, some items were removed after a fairly short time because of the time and space constraints. As a point of interest, the lace on the right was dyed using indigo – I was amazed at how pale the resulting colour was!
Another colour that varied greatly was the turmeric.
|Various dyed papers plus spotted fabric
dyed in turmeric
|100% woollen yarn dyed in madder,
beetroot and turmeric respectively
In the photographs above, the spotted fabric was white with green spots before being dyed in turmeric and having the hapa-zome technique applied to it and the loose yarn at the bottom of the second photograph was also dyed in turmeric.
I was pleased with the result of the ball of yarn dyed in madder whereas that placed in the beetroot mixture took barely any colour. Surprisingly, when I placed the woollen yarn in the dyepot containing the beetroot mixture, the colour of the liquid changed from dark pink to muddy blue. The resulting muddy blue was also very ineffective on the lace and other items placed in it.
To round matters off, the two collages below give a taste of what we did. I hope you enjoy them – it has taken me an hour and a half to work out how to create a collage!