zaterdag 21 februari 2015

Fabric dying with indigo......

Some of you had questions about the wash- and light fastness of the dyed yarns in my last post. In Jenny Dean's book i found that mordanting yarn and fabric before dyeing will improve the light- and wash fastness. There are some plants , like rhubarb roots, that will dye without mordanting but then the light fastness will be much weaker.

Some information about indigo from Dean's book.
Indigo is the only natural source of true blues. It gives light- and wash fast shades, ranging from pale sky-blue to deep navy and is the most successful dye ever known. Indigo is a vat dye and requires no mordant.
For indigo dyeing to be successful, the dye solution must be sufficiently alkaline to dissolve the blue-producing dye matter.
Oxygen must also be removed from the vat to convert this indigo blue into so-called indigo yellow/green because indigo will only fix permanently to the fiber in this state. When the fibers are removed from the vat, oxygen in the air converts the yellow/green back into indigo blue, which is now permanently fixed to the fibers. (this is the most magic moment of indigo dyeing)
There are several ways to make an indigo vat, you can use an chemical product as reducing agent to remove the oxygen from the vat.
You also can use a fermentation vat with fructose as reducing agent.
An ancient way of using an indigo vat was using urine ( 2 to 3 weeks old!) which contains ammonia and also bacteria for removing the oxygen.

I used spectralite as a reducing agent and indigo crystals, which were very easy to dissolve in water, which I bought here.
I stitched some shibori patterns in linen shawls.

And i made two bags. The front:

The back.

The other one, the front.

The back.

zondag 15 februari 2015

Yarn dyeing with plants and the retro sampler

After my experience with dyeing with madder i wanted more....... I already told you that in the sixties I dyed yarn with plants, I remember that mostly  pale yellow colors were the result, they also faded quickly.
 I bought Jenny Dean's book 'Colors from Nature. A dyer's handbook'. A book with detailed information about mordanting, different modifiers and lots of recipes. And another book in French: 'Michel Garcia, Couleurs végétales, teintures, pigments et encres'.

A bought 4 hanks of undyed yarn at Renaissance Dyeing,  devided them in small hanksof about 20 gram.  I only needed small hanks with different colors because i wanted to knit the Retro Sampler with it.
Then the yarn was mordanted , following Michel Garcia recipe with 15% alum et 7% cream de tartre.
I died with madderroot, cutch, rhubarb root, chamomile, sorghum extract, hibiscus flowers, neprun.
some hanks where overdyed with indigo.
And here they are......

Arent' they beautiful ?

This was my first indigo vat and i also dyed some scarfs  but those pictures are for another post....

I started the retro sampler and as usual i changed some patterns, pattern 3 and 5 are mine.

zondag 8 februari 2015

My craftclub in Sarzay

On the first and the third saturday each month , we meet in the small hall next to the municipal hal. Normally we are 12 woman.
 In France almost every village has a festive hall , where take place al the meals that are organized in the village.
Sarzay is a beautiful small village about 20 km from where i live.
Yesterday I gave an applique workshop, this was already the third applique meeting.
There are 8 of the members who join the workshop, the others continue knitting , crocheting and talking......
We are making an owl wallhanging , made by one of my friends.

We worked with freezerpaper and all the small pieces were cut .

Yesterday almost all the pieces were appliqued.

You can find more information about our club here and here.