Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two Weft Yarns in Dyepot

Yesterday, two skeins of 30/2 tencel went into dyebaths with wood dye. The first is a dyebath of walnut chips - the second extraction, so it'll be lighter in value than the first, which with the help of a little iron was so dark it was almost black. This will develop into a mid-value warm brown.

The second is in a bath of Red-bark Eucalyptus (sometimes called Iron-bark Eucalyptus), first extraction. This one is an intriguing pale peachy beige. A very pretty color, but not as dark as I'd like.

Both sat overnight in their baths, so today I'll see how much darker they've gotten, and decide how to proceed. The walnut skein will likely be okay as is, but the eucalyptus might need to be nudged a bit, because I'd really like at least a mid-value weft which would blend into the warp yarns better than a very pale color.

In a comment on the previous post, Stef asked if I've ever used the wood dye process on bamboo yarn. The answer is no, primarily because I haven't found any bamboo yarn as fine as I like to work with. Habu carries a fine bamboo singles, but it doesn't feel strong enough for warp and I haven't tried it for weft yet. However, I can't imagine it would behave much differently in the dyepot (whether fiber reactive or natural) than tencel, because they're made in much the same way. Cook the pulverized timber or bamboo, extract the cellulose component, extrude it as fibers, spin those fibers into yarn, etc.


Michael said...

These are beautiful! I mean to learn natural dyeing one of these days, I'm still working with all acid dyes at present.

What are you using to lift the skeins? I've just been using a spoon, but it seems like it might work better with a specialized tool..

Gail said...

I've lately been dyeing from native plants growing on our property and in each test batch use various wools, silks, bamboo and tencel. I notice often that the tencel takes to dye the least - except with some plants. Bamboo took it somewhat better (wool and silk the best). I have been mordantly all with alum. I notice you mention using aluminum acetate for tencel -- this helps that particular fiber absorb the dye better I assume? Thanks for sharing so much on your sites....