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Virtual Dye Day - experimenting

"These tiny skeins have been an experiment.

The dyestuff was 50g of seed pods from my Lomatia Tinctoria plant otherwise known as the Guitar plant because of the shape of the pods.  It is a Tasmanian endemic. I soaked the seeds in water from my rain water tank for more than 2 weeks. A lovely red colour appeared and this is what led me to experiment.  I had 2 tiny skeins of silk mordanted with alum and weighing about 24g in total. I soaked them in the room temperature dye bath and the red was totally absorbed into the yarn leaving the water looking clear.  I thought that this was exciting. The yarn became a golden colour. I decided to heat the pods in the same water to see if any more colour came out. I heated it to between 60 and 80 degrees C. Then I added the yarn again and left it to soak for a while. It absorbed more colour.  I repeated this process over several days until it became apparent that the yarn was not really taking up more dye although there was still a bit of red in the water. On rinsing some of the red came out of the yarn and I was left with an interesting pinkish gold that I will call rose gold.  I have tried this process before with berries from other plants with some success. Now I will be looking to gather more seed pods next year and will try them on wool or with other mordants or modifiers. The leaves are next on my list as these can give interesting colours too."

Di Kearney

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