Today we worked with thickened and unthickened natural dyes in a direct application process. We had weld, madder, cochineal, pomegranate, and cutch to work with.
For my thickened dyes, I decided to work on some silk broadcloth that I brought with me. Instead of doing the typical swatches of each natural dye, I hand painted a variety of marks of each color. I also made a decision to test two different ways of finishing the piece: one by steaming the fabric when dry and the other to just let it sit for two days and then boil the cloth.
Here is a picture of my hand painted cloth before it was cut in half to finish. On Friday I will post the two side but side for comparisons.
I also used the unthickened dyes to paint a small skein of yarn. I am doing three methods of finishing the yarn to research which approach will give me the best color yield.
1. Steam the yarn right after it was painted and still wet
2. Steam the yarn when it was bone dry
3. Wash the yarn two days later
Here is the finished skein immediately after painting.
Here is the steamed yarn on the bottom with the dry yarn above it. I was amazed at how much more intense the colors became, although it seems like the madder and cochineal lost their intensity.
I also began dyeing in the 1-2-3 Henna Lime Indigo vat today. I dipped my sample, using the indigo paste resist, three times. I'll have the before and after pictures tomorrow.
I also started a value gradation study on my 3 ply tapestry wool in the indigo vat. So far I love the results. Next I need to start designing a small monochromatic tapestry with those beautiful yarns.
We also extracted this gorgeous yellow from Catharine's weld dried plant material and then used it to create two dye baths: one for wool and the other for cotton, linen and silk.
Here is the wool sample: