Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This past weekend was an adventure in natural dyeing. The workshop was offered through our local yarn store Unravel and the teacher was Ric Rao. There were about 12 of us plus various family memebers who were brought along to help. All the yarns that we tried were natural fibers - either wools or cottons, some alpaca and mohair. The yarn had been mordanted overnight in Alum and Cream of Tarter, though some were put in the pot just as we started and did not seem to be any less vivid. Ric had been collecting flowers from his garden all year and we used marigolds, cosmos, black hollyhock and hibiscus. Sometimes the colors were predictible and sometimes not. We also used onion skins and tumeric for a bright yellow.Walnut for brown. Logwood for purple (spectacular) and Cochineal for a pinkish-red. There were 8 dyepots in all simmering over two large outdoor fires. The project took most of the day and the efforts of everyone involved. There was not a lot of sitting around watching.

Everyone had a chance to put yarn in most of the different dyepots so there were lots of samples to take home.

Pot full of Cosmos. The dark brown in walnut.

It was a spectacular way to spend such a beautiful fall day. Many thanks to Gail and Oscar who opened their home for us to learn this skill, and Ric Rao for his time and patience. It was a great experience.