Monday, October 28, 2013

Wood Dye Comparison

The skeins of silk that I soaked in the dyepots that gave me beautiful colors on Tencel  have now been rinsed and dried. Because I work with fine threads, I don't wash them much after dyeing, just rinse to remove excess dye; after all, I always wash the cloth after weaving, when those threads aren't as much at risk of tangling.

Here are the tencel skeins (top row) and silk skeins (bottom row). From left, the wood used to extract the dyes are Wenge, Black Acacia, Osage Orange, Bloodwood, and Quillabordon.

As you can see, the Tencel skeins sucked up most of the color in all the dyepots except the bloodwood; apparently that dye material has an affinity for protein fibers, because the silk skein is only a tiny bit lighter than the Tencel skein. It's also a bit pinker - less orange.

In the silk row, skeins 1, 3, and 5 are 25/2 Nm silk, and skeins 2 and 4 are 60/2 Nm silk. I have a jacquard project in mind for 1, 3, and 5. Numbers 2 and 4 will be weft yarns for scarves.

And for a change of pace, I've spent two days working on Christmas ornaments for sale at the upcoming shows. When we lived in San Jose (and had a large veggie garden area) I grew gourds. I had a large bag of "baseball" gourds that have been taking up space since we moved, and I decided it was time to do something with them. The gourds range from billiard ball to baseball size, and after five+ years drying, they are very lightweight - perfect for Christmas tree ornaments.

Here's a selection of them:

The florets I used for the tops of the ornaments were a gift from the persimmon tree. It is a self-thinning tree. At the beginning of the growing season, it drops both fruit and blossom, but later in the season, it drops only fruit, leaving the blossom on the branches. The blossom dries in place, and can be easily plucked off the branches. I spray-paint the florets and drill a small hole through the middle for a hanging cord. The gourds themselves are spray-painted, and sometimes sponge-painted afterward with coordinating colors.

I'm hoping these will sell at the pre-holiday shows.


neki desu said...

i was going to suggest your gourds looked like persimmons!
the colors you got from the wood chips are great!

margery meyers haber said...

Amazing how different fibers take dyes so differently. I died a cashmere/silk blend yarn with osage orange and got a rather loud pistachio green. You did get some beautiful colors, Sandra!

Connie Rose said...

Those hand dyed yarns are just amazing!