Thursday, September 21, 2006

Result of Pine-root & Cedar-bark Dye

Here are the pictures...

The spotty greenish tones are due to the silly camera phone doing funky things with the light. The skeins are overdyed 1st batch pokeberry yarn and the single string is what I got using only pine root and cedar bark - it's just ever so slightly lighter than the pokeberry dyed stuff. In any case, it is a slightly red/pink-tinted medium brown. I think it will look good with blue...

4 comments:

ilana said...

It's such a pretty color! Was that not close to what you were aiming for? I was wondering, too, if you were intending to stick with natural vegetable dyes; if not, do you think some of the color correction could be done with KoolAid? I didn't like the brown from the boiled beet leaves, so I added dark red KoolAid; the result was a more mellow dark red, almost like birch beer (do you have that in Florida?). I felt a little guilty about it, but I'm not so keen on brown. Also, do you think using some sort of base to neutralize the tannins might help correct the browning? Sort of like putting lemon juice on apples to keep them from going brown and mooshy? Still, the color you got is really pretty. :)

Rachael said...

Thank you! ;D Yeah, it's not a bad color, but the sources I was working from seemed to indicate that it should come out more red than this. But then, these were one sentence sources, not even instructions on how to do it, just a "this gives you this" kind of source, second hand info from 150+ year old sources. So I was expecting something more red... But as you say, it is a pretty brown, as browns go. I'm not so keen on brown either. It just doesn't do anything for my coloring, so I tend to avoid it. But my sister has lovely brown eyes and red hair, so brown looks really good on her. So I know it's just a matter of my dislike of brown. But I think it will look good paired with some indigo dyed yarn.

I'm sticking with natural dyes for the six pounds of yarn I've got right now. All of this yarn is destined for Civil War era knits to sell to reenactors. I'm especially working on bi-colored striped shawls from a pattern from 1864. But I look forward to the day when I'll have wool that doesn't have a set destiny and I can do the beet and black-cherry Kool-Aid that you did! I think I'd like to make fingerless mitts in that color...

I've never heard of birch beer, so I would guess that we don't have it in Florida. What is it?

I'm not all that involved in chemistry, so I don't know if there's anything that might neutralize the tannins. It would be nice if there was though! I asked my mom who was trained as a chemist, but is now a middle school science teacher, if she knows of anything that might do that and she says she doesn't know. It's tannic acid, though right? So I would think that there would be something... I'll have to look into it some more.

Mark H. Deschinny said...

Ya'at'eeh,

I noticed your use of cedar and pine for red. Navajos use a similar dye: cedar root, mountain mahogany root, alder bark & red hematite. You will get a red-brown or brick. It's a good dye with the tannins. To get a red, we ferment prickley pear cactus fruit. But, it's a tough one. You will probably get purple or pink. You have to keep checking the dye and it takes days.

Have fun!

Mark H. Deschinny
Navajo Indian Reservation

oh yeah...Ya'at'eeh is Navajo for "greetings" or "it is good"...

Rachael said...

Ya'at'eeh! ;D Thanks for the information, Mark. That's very interesting. If I ever get access to all the ingredients, I will have to try it. I've heard that hematite has a lovely red color when ground up and is a very good pigment to use in paint, but I wasn't aware that it was ever used in dye! How cool!

A neighbor has a prickly pear cactus in their yard. I'm tempted to ask for some fruit some so that I can try it out.

I checked out your website too. What interesting things you have! I've been wanting to get a Navajo spindle for a while. It's on my holiday wishlist now! One of your looms is very tempting too, but I've got too many hobbies as it is. LOL! Perhaps one day though...