Thursday, September 04, 2008

Playing in the Dyepots

The three skeins of differently-mordanted silk went into their alkanet dyepot yesterday. Here's what they looked like after about 30 minutes:

In front is the alum-mordanted skein, showing a nice eggplant purple. Behind it is the tin-mordanted skein, sort of grey-brown with a purple cast. In back is the copper-mordanted skein, a purplish brown.

I left them in the dyepot for over an hour, let them cool, and rinsed until the water ran almost clear. The skeins lost most of their color, and were horribly streaky - pale lavender with brown streaks; pale grey with purple streaks; and brown with both grey and purple streaks. Ick! I mean, really nasty looking.

So, today they went back into the dyepot (thank heavens I saved it!) to which I had added more alum (about 10% WOF) and a pinch of iron (maybe 1/4%). The pot went back on the stove, and considered its sins all day. This evening the pot is cooling, and I'll probably leave the skeins to steep overnight. They ARE darker, and there is still a distinct difference in hue between the three skeins. The true test is what they will look like rinsed and dried.

Perhaps that one book that recommended a 4:1 ratio of dyestuff to fiber was right...

Stay tuned!


Taueret said...

what a shame- the unrinsed skeins are beautiful!

Peg in South Carolina said...

How lucky for you that you saved the dye pot! I probably would have dumped it down the drain. In truth, however, I tend to make more dye stock solutions than I need and I save all of them until I am done with the weaving.