Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wood Chip Dye

Now isn't this an absolutely gorgeous color!

This is white worsted-weight wool, mordanted with 12% WOF alum (potassium aluminum sulfate), and dyed in color extracted from cocobolo sawdust and chips. These skeins are a gift to the wife of the woodturner who gave me the chips - she bought a rigid heddle loom from me during a studio clear-out, and this is a reasonable size yarn for a new weaver to work with. I have a couple of skeins of tencel yarn for my own use in the dyebath too. They probably won't take the color as richly or as dark - we'll see when they are "done."

I've also got skeins working in dyepots of walnut hulls (harvested and chopped in May while the hulls are still green and the nuts mostly jelly, and fermented in water since then) and Monterey cypress sawdust and chips soaked in alcohol. When they're rinsed and dried, I'll post more pictures.

There's a link to a downloadable PDF file on my website here that describes the procedure I use to get color from wood chips. If you know a local woodworker, the shop waste product is a wonderful source of color, and a surprisingly broad range of colors, too.


Life Looms Large said...

Very interesting idea, dyeing with wood chips. One of my weaving friends is married to a furniture-maker. She probably has a great source of interesting chips she could use.

I thought of you and your jacquard loom the other day. I visited an historical society in Maine that had pictures and samples from an upholstery mill. One photo showed a jacquard loom with the warp coming into the heddles at different angles. A bunch of threads were coming straight into the heddles, but then other groups of threads were entering at angles of 20 or 30 degrees or so.

From your blog photos so far, I've assumed that the threads run straight from the back of the loom to the front, like on a normal floor loom. But that's definitely not what I saw in that photo in Maine. If I'm super confused, please let me know!!



neki desu said...

wonderful color. curious about the walnut hulls. mine were not as fresh, the remains after shelling the walnuts.
but i got a lot of color from them