Friday, 30 April 2010

Medieval Dyeing

Louise, our resident Medieval lady, has been dyeing for a couple of years now. She has been documenting the process on the Haandkraft blog. This post is meant as a diary of her dyeing efforts 2008-2010 and as a how-to inspirational post on dyeing with plants.

13th October 2008

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="224" caption="Dyeing with Madder"][/caption]

This was to see how different the wool took in the colour. I dyed two batches that have been treated which I'm going to use for "nålebinding" / "needlebinding". And the one in the middle that hadn't been treated with alum is a very thin embroidery yarn. There is a clear difference in the two types of yarn but I'm very excited about both colours. Read full post...

23rd December 2008

[caption id="attachment_1597" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Dyeing with Onion Peel"][/caption]

I have been collecting onion shells for a while now and decided last night that I had enough to try a little dyeing. I had seen the great results on Slingerbult´s page and have wanted to try it ever since. The colours of the ones that had only been in onion shells went quite orange and the one treated with iron in the end went dark brown.
So filled with success I wanted to try something else. My dear friend Christopher bought saffron for me last time he was in Spain. I tried with a small bundle of yarn again and used about 4-5 grams of saffron. It really doesn't take much before it dyes and the colour is very strong so be careful not to make a mess with it.
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17th April 2009

[caption id="attachment_1599" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Dyeing silk fabric with onion peel"][/caption]

Mikkel and I have been collecting onion shells for a while and there were now a big pile of shells. I know that the dye sticks really wellto  wool and gives a great colour. And when I stumbled on this guy's flickr I just had to try dyeing on silk.
So I found some white silk that I have bought at a tailor on sale and gave it a mordant (alun). The mordant water and the fabric was moved a lot. Then I made the colour water and after an hour of boiling it was ready for the fabric. I removed the onion shells and but in the fabric. The piece was about 1 m. The colour was on the fabric right away and during the next hour was stirred all the time.
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22nd May 2009

[caption id="attachment_1601" align="aligncenter" width="469" caption="Dying with Walnut, Madder, Birch and Goldenrod"][/caption]

The plants that I have use for these colours are (from the left):
- Walnut (the browns - 1. and 2. colour bath)
- Madder (the reds - 1. and 2. colurs bath)
- Birch (the greens and the bright yellow - the greens have been treated with iron, and taken up at different time in the colour bath, the yellow is 1. colour bath)
- Goldenrot - (the light yellow - 1. colour bath)
The white is the original wool yarn
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23rd August 2009

[caption id="attachment_1617" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="Dyeing in an iron cauldron and the result"][/caption]

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22nd October 2009

[caption id="attachment_1606" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="From left to right. Light grey yarn in 2. colourbath, white yarn in a bath made with mushrooms, the two next are white yarn in 3. colourbath, a light grey yarn in 3. colourbath, three next is different white yarns in 3. colourbath, and the last is a white yarn in 2. colourbath."][/caption]

At Vitskøl monestary we dyed with madder and mushrooms, and at Spøttrup Castle we continued dyeing with madder. Have brought different types of yarns which you can see had a great impact on the results of the colours. Read full post...

31st January 2010

[caption id="attachment_1608" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Dyeing soup"][/caption]

I have never dyed with mushrooms before and didn't know how many grams to use for the 1 meter of fabric that I had. So this was kind of an experiment - to see how much colour the mushrooms gave. The mushroom that I used is in Danish called Cinnober-slørhat, and in Latin Cortinarius cinnabarinus. It should give a reddish colour which I was quite excited about since one of the only other plants that give red is madder.
Before dyeing I chopped the mushrooms in to very small pieces and let them soak in water for 24 hours. The colour soup became very red as you can see in the pictures and when the fabric went in it took in the colour very fast.
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[caption id="attachment_1609" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Dyeing with mushrooms"][/caption]

19th February 2010

[caption id="attachment_1611" align="aligncenter" width="405" caption="Dyeing with Canadian Goldenrod"][/caption]

I have dyed with Solidago canadensis, also know as Canadian Goldenrod. I have dyed with woolen yarns and silk and the green is from adding iron in the end of the dye.
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