Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dyeing Instructions: Again

I am reposting this because even i have a hard time finding it in my blog and figured I'd just do it all again...So here is my best rendition of how to solar dye with flowers in quart jars!

dyeing instructions:
not to be confused with dying instructions. this is the painless easy solar dyeing method i am using. it does seem to work better with plants that "give up their dye easily". Marigolds, for example, seem to take cooking to produce the really dark yellow that you can get. anyway...take the dye plant (i recommend "a dyer's garden" if you need some suggestions of dye plants)

cram a bunch of it in a quart canning jar. depending on the item (if it is small and packable about 1/2 full will do, otherwise 2/3 full is good).
Pour boiling/hot water over the top and fill the jar.
Put the lid on. ( if you have a lot of dye stuffs a gallon pickle jar will work too).
Put it somewhere that gets hot in the sun. (i use my back porch which is painted dark brown and the sun makes the floor too hot to walk on)
Let it steep for several days. ( check the dye plants regularly--when they are looking faded and limp they're done).
strain off the dye plants and discard unless you are using tree parts, which can be dried and reused as can a few flowers.add premordanted fiber to your "dye jar".
Premordant with alum and cream of tartar. use about equal parts in water and simmer for an hour. 4 tablespoons of each will mordant 4 ounces of wool or silk.
rinse after mordanting and dye immediately or dry for later use.
Now add to the dye pot. let it sit in the sun for several days.
check it's progress often. (i check about once a day).
when it reaches a color you like take it out and rinse it. You can probably continue to dye in the same jar at least once more so save the dye. ( i check by pouring the jar out into a sieve that is in a bowl, then i can either put the fiber back for more dyeing or rinse and replace the dye into the jar)

let me know how you do...rita n/


wendy said...

Thanks for the info.

Ann said...

I found instructions for solar dyeing "somewhere else," then, I found your blog. I am following along and experimenting a bit on my own over there (points to blog)

I like what I see.

Bev in TN said...

Sounds like fun, but from the very little I recall of my first and only spin/dye weekend workshop (!% years ago!), natural dyes and/or dyes mordanted with alum,vinegar will not be colorfast, will fade in the sun. Have you found this to be true?