Wednesday, 21 November 2007
More on Purple Loostrife and Indigo books
Well the purple loostrife has turned out a very pale grey on wool, a charcoal on silk. It was paler than I thought it would be as the bath is a black and seemed to be full of colour a little bit surprising. It could have been because the plant had really gone to seed so all the energy has gone into making the seeds , could have been because we had so little sun this summer. Could be because of course it contains very little dye. I will have to try and make sure I dye with it earlier next year.
My dh thought it was white.
Incidentally the yarn is not handspun by me but by Elaine Williams of Trefriw Woollen Mill who has a lovely dye garden. She is a very busy lady running a family business so sends me her handspun yarn and I dye it for her.
I have had an email from another dyer suggesting alder bark as a source of black. On reading about this I find it was a source of good blacks... a softer and bloomier black *......... not as harsh as some others, although it was considered destructive for fine wools, but of course it would be local ( the very name is considered celtic) and my source for much of this information Dominique Cardons book says that a silk dye works owned by Joshua Wardle in the 19th Centruy used bark cut in Cheshire, the county next to here. The bark has to be cut in spring and I would need to find a local source I am not sure I can cut bark form trees on someone else land.
A couple of weeks ago I adverised my indigo book the Colour of Sea and Sky, The Art of Indigo dyeing on natural dyes online and sold a lot of books very quickly. It s quite exciting to find them whizzing off to Australia, The Falkland Islands , Trinidad, Hawaii, Canada and the USA amongst others and I have a sense of invisible connecting lines linking us all to one another. Yesterday I got my first feedback, an Amercian Dyer sent me an account of her first days experience of using my instructions for the reduction bath-my favourite- she had a huge success with it and gives me a thrill to know that my instructions work adn the book has given pleasure too. An indigo vat is so much easier taught visually than anything else. Thats a thought maybe I could done on this blog .hmm
*Dominique Cardon Natural Dyes p 426