Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dye update

I've let the wool soak overnight in the pine root/red cedar bark dyebath and now, I'm going to boil it again. It seems to be taking on the reddish color slowly... *maybe*... We'll see. The brown color that it is now is not an unpleasant one as browns go (kind of a rootbeer float kind of color when you first pour the rootbeer over the ice cream and the ice cream starts the melt and mix with the rootbeer), I just don't really like brown... Perhaps if I had vinegar or salt, that would help... Time to go shopping! ('cause I'm still out of vinegar.)

I have a theory concerning dyeing with pokeberries and that is that most of the tannins are absorbed in the first use of the dyebath and that the later batches are more lightfast because they have absorbed less tannin than the first. I have not really tested that theory *at all,* but if anyone who might be getting ready to do pokeberry dyeing has extra wool and might want to dye little samples in each dyebath use to set out in sunlight to see how long it takes for and to what extent the samples turn brown and then publishes the results, I would be most interested to hear what they find out.

Now, I have tested the washfastness of alum mordanted wool dyed with pokeberries, and the red-pink dye continues to bleed out of the wool until it fades to almost non-existence, no matter whether the wool was in the 1st dyelot or the 4th. The 1st batch has the most brown color left in it, and the later batches have significantly less (hence the above theory). It washes out faster in hot water than in cold, but even in cold, it *will* bleed and wash out. So if you use pokeberries, try to make something with the wool that won't need to be washed very much or at all to help extend the color... outer garments, like scarves and shawls, etc. might be best.

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