Friday, December 28, 2012

Seeing how the dyeing is going,

I decided to check how the dyeing was going.  First I took out the silk that had the frozen mulberries wrapped in it.  This was the batch using previously dyed silk, also using mulberries but fresh ones.  There had been blue spots on a couple of them. They have disappeared.  I did soak the silk in an alum solution and have read that that makes the colour slightly bluer.
As you can see, one of the scarves has come out much bluer than the others.  It may have had more alum in the solution, who knows?
I left this for about 5 days and some of the fruit had started to go mouldy - only a tiny bit but enough to leave a brownish spot on the big scarf, right near the middle.  So more work will have to go into disguising that. There are also some small spots where the seeds have left prints. But the blue spots have vanished!

After that, I thought I might as well check on the bits of silk I had in the old eucalyptus bark dyebath.  The dyebath looked very dark but most of the colour washed out.
The silk had been soaked in alum, the dye and silk crammed into a jar and left 3 days.

This one is extremely 'subtle' and I will probably over-dye it.  I had just folded and pegged it and poured the dye over it and left it for a day.  I may not have left it long enough. 

I think I can stop being frugal and throw out the remaining dyes. I can easily make more, the trees are throwing off scads of bark at the moment. But I may hold my horses as I still have a fair bit of silk from my last burst of interest. I need to think of how to use all this silk, not just have fun dyeing.


parlance said...

This freezing process is interesting. It reminds me of the concept of breaking up the cell walls in vegetables before feeding them to dogs - using a masticating juicer.
I wonder if you could experiment with such a juicer? Might be the discoverer of a different process...

parlance said...

Yeah, the trees ARE throwing off scads of bark! It provokes a different reaction if one lives in a bushfire prone area!

Gina E. said...

Gosh Mary, you do so many experiments on fabric! I know a lot of people dye fabric and laces, but it is not something I have been interested enough to do myself. Just happy to watch the results of other people's experimenting! I chuckled at your remark about the eucalypts throwing off 'scads of bark' at the moment. I was raking up large hunks of it today! I used to save it for painting on, but I only did one or two paintings, and they weren't very successful. I was probably using the wrong paint or something.

Mary said...

Gina, I was out walking today (thank goodness it isn't hot yet) at Yarra Bend and there was so much bark on the ground. I can see Parlance's point about having to clean it up in bushfire areas. It would burn beautifully. I resisted the temptation to pick up any, I still have some left over from previous walks.

Mary said...

Parlance, that masticating machine sounds dangerous! I will have to investigate it - one day. I am having fun with the freezing at the moment although I should be careful not to fill our rather small freezer.