Thursday, August 26, 2010

To dye, dye, dye; to dye, dye, dye

is all I want to do, do , do....

With the cooler weather it's a perfect time to dig out all the frozen dye stuff and experiment. Not to mention I bought some other mordants from Carol Leigh's Fiber Studio in Columbia, Mo that I'm dyeing to use.

Wednesday I started with collecting some Black Eyed Susan flowers. I soaked them over night then boiled them and simmered for an hour on Thursday.


The flowers still have quite a bit of color so I plan to boil again and simmer for at least another hour.

The dye liquor looks quite dark.

Then I prepared some mordant liquors. Jenny Deans Natural Dyeing recommends making mordant liquors instead of measuring dye stuff every time you are ready to mordant. I used Carl Leigh's mordant proportions rather than Deans. She used the least amount per pound of fiber. As I understand despite these mordants being heavy metals that most of the mordant binds with the fiber so I can pour the leftover water bath into the garden without harm. Some of the mordants are especially good for certain plants. The only mordant I have not made up is chrome but I plan to soon. It's the one the scares me the most.

These are all in concentrations to mordant one pound of fiber in 24 ounce canning jars. From left to right: Iron: 1 tsp ; Tin: 1/2 tsp (will add Cream of Tatar (CoT)to the mordant bath) ; Copper: 1 tsp


I keep them wrapped in black plastic trash bags to keep them out of the light and store them in dark place in the house. Each has their own color of rubber band. Iron: red, Tin: white, and Copper: green. If you have young kids I suggest a locked cabinet.

Next up are the avocado pits I have been collecting and friends have graciously saved and donated to the cause.


After they thawed a bit I broke them up with a mallet. Sometimes I needed a way to break them up more so I used a drill bit to crack them open.


I added the broken up bits to my food processor to break them up more.


The two 24 oz canning jars each have 10 oz of avocado and 1 Cup ammonia topped off with water. The small canning jar on the right has 5 oz of avocado pits with only water.


I dyed these yarns last year. I'm warming them up to add a post mordant of Copper to see what happens. From left to right: Onion skins, Tansy and Osage orange.

Stay tuned tomorrows results.


  1. That is awesome!!! Dyeing with just acid dye formula takes me forever, but seeing the effort you took with this makes me want to try something a little more labor intensive but much more interesting.

  2. Ahh this is so cool!!! Lovelovelove! <3