The joys, oh the joys, of dyeing silk purple

What could possibly go wrong, right? I did my research, harvested some rain water and had some other water types as well so as to adjust the mix as required. I sourced and bought some microscales to be *really* accurate with the mordant stage and preparing the dyebath, it was all going to be fiiine….

Dyeing for demos

Before I fill in the backlog of dyes I thought I might prove that I have been working on this project! This is a sample box I made up for demos with the wool top I’ve dyed so far. I am not yet confident in my ability to maintain a consistent heat to keep the…

If anyone ever tells you pink isn’t period…

..send them to me. There’s no way pink wasn’t period, unless they were calling it something else, like red maybe. This is ordinary wool, linen and muslin cloth all dyed with brazilwood. I used tap water (hard, lots of lime) and was a bit sparing with the chips to water and weight of fibre ratio….

An Irish woman in search of rain…

It must be a sign of the End of Days, right? My experiment with logwood yielded much darker results than I was expecting. I ended up with mostly very dark purple – approaching black – fading to grey. I think the fact that I had to use tap water made the difference, the water here…

The spine grumbling weekend..

This weekend the plan had been for the three of us to head to Hints of History, a demo in Russborough House I was really looking forward to. The weather has been beautiful and I can imagine everyone has had a fantastic time SCAing at a beautiful site, outdoor cooking on a beautiful night.. Sigh…..

Birch bark result

The birch bark dyeing experiment has been completed, it filled the kitchen with an not unpleasant but very distinctive smell. I thought the color would be pinker given the colour of the dye bath.

Bug bits, roots and leaves

A twinge in my back has become a rather large and inconvenient pain, so tonight’s planned dyeing session instead became a sort of forlorn inventory taking of my newly delivered dyestuff. This is alum, considered an excellent mordant for beginners and just in general. It isn’t too expensive and is generally regarded as the safest…

Birch bark in a bucket

I know what I’m like. When I try something the first time I can be terribly impatient, I can’t resist turning it out to look to see how it’s doing. With that self knowledge I adopt a “make one to throw away” approach – work on a first attempt at something new with materials that…

Plant roots, stale urine and rain, oh my!

(Or a fast beginner’s introduction to medieval dyeing) Ever since I joined the SCA I’ve been plotting to set up to recreate dyes. I’ve done a fair amount of research by now, so I expect there will be a few posts on the subject to follow, I have a lot of plans.    This particular…