17 October, 2015

Bobbing for Walnuts

black walnut dye bath
A black walnut dye bath smells to me like ginger beer.

I made a batch and tinted a thrift store print dress to turn the white background into a light shade of brown that is more harmonious with the red and brown in the print.  I dyed some cotton jersey fabric with walnut and then with a rather exhausted indigo vat, and got a dull blotchy brown.  I dyed a couple of silk scarves and got a rich, warm shade of brown with lighter shades where I bound the scarves with yarn.  One scarf has a small blotch.  I am getting a lot of blotches with indigo from the sediment and from the fabric popping above the surface.

I don't know what I am doing with walnut, really, since brown suits me very ill.  But other people like brown and the walnuts were gleaned.  Love gleaning.  I picked up some more black walnuts this week and dropped them in places around town right at the edge of trees and meadow where they will get light and space to grow.

It is interesting, having a company and thinking about fibre arts processes in terms of products that I could sell to other people.  People who might cross my palm with silver.  People whose taste may be very different from mine.  I am reading India Flint's book Eco Colour again, and this time I am thinking of doing some of the techniques.

If I dye some fibre walnut brown for spindle kits to put in my shop, I will only do one kit's worth because I really believe that un-dyed fibre is best for beginners.

silk dyed with black walnut

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