Monday, 24 March 2014

Capturing sunshine

Using this year's sunshine to dye fibres in colours that were created in flowers by last year's sunshine

Layers of genista tinctoria and red geranium petals dyeing wool fleece


Or even the sunshine of many years stored up in the wood of trees
Wool tops solar-dyed with (left) Logwood and madder, and logwood in different concentrations. All soft colours as this was the third use of the dyestuffs,

Uneven takeup of dye during solar dyeing gives lovely heathered shades in the spun yarn

The spring sunshine has got me filling several new solar dye jars - fresh daffodils and forsythia flowers for yellows, which I plan to overdye with indigo for some lovely greens, and some dried geraniums and Genista which I have layered in a big jar - I have got some intriguing effects dyeing washed fleece with two different dyes in this way.
 To make space for the new jars on my windowsill I have opened some jars which had been there since last summer.  Four batches of tops in soft shades to add to the deeper colours from the first two uses of the same dyestuff. Three purples in my Scatness tunic came from  these earlier dyejars.

The logwood and logwood/madder mix in the jars still seems to have plenty of potential colour left even after being used for three batches of solar dyeing so  I transferred it all to my biggest dyepot and boiled it up. The resulting colour has lots of red in it, from the madder. So far I've dyed a batch of wool tops, then some kid mohair. Next I'm going to 'mop up' the last of the colour with some silk - once I have degummed it. I think a blend of all these fibres will create an exciting yarn - watch this space!

its amazing what a bit of sunshine can do!!

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