Monday, April 27, 2020

Dyeing With Walnut Hulls

Here I’ve dyed two pieces of even weave linen and a small trial of herringbone twilled raw silk, all for embroidery. Using two heaped tablespoons of husks a friend gave me (bought at Kryal Castle, The Forest & The Fae).
I read up on dyeing with walnut at Woodlark blog, though instead of soaking my cloth in water and vinegar as they do, I used a bit of detergent as I would with wool dyeing. The purpose being to open up the fibres to soak in the dye. I used some vinegar to set the dye after it had been cooking for a while. Quite a while.
You can see the colour, compared to the stark white plastic box behind. One piece had previously been dyed lightly with (I think) red onion skins. But very lightly, ineffectually.
I tried to leave the cloth unagitated so as to get a mottled effect, then threw in a handful of coffee beans and let simmer for a couple of more hours.
I don’t know that these or the lack of agitation made much difference. The dye is quite even across the cloth, saving for a few crease marks. Even though, to look at the pot, a lot of residue was sitting on the top, it didn’t create a darker patch.
It’s a very beautiful taupe colour though, nothing to disappoint. My only concern being it is a cool brown and for an aged look (for a sampler) it might do well to be warmer?
Today I’m going to try some mohair handspun. I’ll add more than the two tablespoons I think and see what happens. A cool brown suits my skin so that will be perfect.
Thanks Nicole!

Update: I’ve decided to try one of the linen pieces in tea. It’s just in a baking tray, sprinkled strategically with tea leaves. Some parts have none or few leaves. 
I’ll leave it overnight then rinse and see what I have.
Also, the mohair is on, brewing as we speak. Someone told me that walnut is acidic, so washing out all residual dye is important. I may even put the mohair into a washing bag, tied so it won’t move about, and machine wash it on a gentle cycle.

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