I am keen to start experimenting with dyeing yarn, and with this in mind I acquired a Solar Dyeing Kit when I was at Wonderwool at the weekend.
The thought behind this form of dyeing is to allow the sun’s heat to do all the work of dyeing the cloth/fibre….over a period of months. Think of it as slow-dyeing!
So, earlier this morning I had a play with my kit. Thankfully, after reading the instructions I realised that the jar the dyestuffs go in doesn’t have to go outside, and that a warm, sunny, windowsill would do. I put some rusty nails and some Persian Berries at the bottom of the jar, followed by the fibre – which is some undyed White Eider fleece – then made up a muslin bag of Logwood chips to go on top of the fleece. A mordant of alum and cream of tartar was then blended and added to the jar which was then topped up with warm water…and placed on a warm, sunny windowsill (in my studio).
I was quite impressed that ‘something’ appeared to happen straight away. The bottom of the jar went a vibrant shade of orange and the top of the jar turned a slightly less vibrant orange…which was interesting, as the colours I chose were to produce a green and purple fibre. However, I have just had a quick look at it and after an hour or so, the sunny side of the jar is turning purple and yellow, with the intense orange still at the bottom – its fascinating! I am looking forward to seeing how the colours develop over the coming few months.
In the meantime, I am going to give my studio window a damn good clean…its filthy!