November 08, 2014

Weld Dye and Over Dyeing

I went to a natural dye day and got to dip some wool in the weld pot.  We dipped yarn and wool into large pots heated over a fire.  I discovered that I really like the colour weld dye gives, a clear lemon yellow.  I plan to use it again sometime.

Besides weld, I dyed with indigo, woad which I like better than indigo, walnuts mordanted with iron for black-brown, madder overdyed with indigo for purple, weld overdyed with woad for green, and brazil wood.  The base wool was Blue Face Leicester, a pound divided into two ounce portions.

I would have liked to have dyed the Romney wool I brought back from Vancouver Island a while ago instead of the imported BFL but I didn't get the Romney ready in time.  I pulled it out and washed it all but a considerable amount of grease remained in the locks, and the grease would have resisted the dye.  I need to pick and tease the wool thoroughly to loosen the locks so the hot water and detergent will penetrate when I wash it again.

I want to dye with woad over weld again sometime for Lincoln green since I didn't get that consistent or strong a result.  It looks like mottled lemon and lime.  Someone else got a beautiful clear green.  I think she got such excellent results because she dipped earlier when the dyes were stronger, more concentrated and also because she dyed skeins.  My wool was scrunched up in a cotton bag and the woad did not contact all of the fibre.

Not only did I go to a natural dye day, I went to a synthetic dye day before that.  I got a good result by filling up two cups of dye with the same colour tinged with a little black, then dividing a cup into two cups and topping them off with different colours, then using the resulting three related colours to paint a skein.

You may remember that I am off synthetic dye.  I had not intended to dye anything but rather knit more of my sweater, but a friend persuaded me to dye a spare cotton skein she had.  It went home with her.

I was asked recently why I avoid synthetic dye in my fibre arts.  I explained how I was influenced by the Fibershed project.  Later while I was at home finding links to the founder Rebecca Burgess' interviews to pass along, I watched one of the videos on YouTube about the 150 mile wardrobe.  It was a good refresher.  I still find the clothing and the philosophy meaningful and inspirational.

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