Saturday, 3 November 2007
I meant to write this blog yesterday, but there was a lot happening , and on top of it my dh went down with the mother of all man colds and leaving me with reproachful dogs.
I have spent about six years trying all sorts of different ways to get a good red with madder. as i could not get anyhting but a reddish orange. I assumed the problem was that I have very soft wate. So I added chalk, lime water, washing soda, altered temperatures, pH, talked to people , listened to loads of advice such as grinding the roots , fermenting madder for 8 days and got beautiful colours terracottas, rusts, deep orangy reds and after leaving a bath on high overnight instead of switching it off, wonderful coppery reds with brown tones BUT NO RED!
DH and I and dogs went off for a weeks holiday in September. Just before I went I noticed a bowl of soaking madder chips I had forgotten about. I put them into a bin with a lid. When I returned I covered with water, added some mordanted wool, put the heat on very low and forgot about it. About four hours later I checked the bath and found the wool was a deep red.
I thought that it was probably the very long soak had bought out the red in the madder chips as the red dye has a lowere solubility than th eother colours , but now I wonder also whether fermentation did not have a role to play. Especially as the bath Iused yesterday was fermenting. Anyway on the 14th October I put 300g of madder chips into soak. Yesterday I put the bath onto heat and about four hours later this yarn appeared! It is good to know I can replicate the results.
yeay! One triumphant dyer!