Sunday, 2 December 2007

More on Buckthorn and black oak bark

I got very excited the other night. I had added the buck thorn chips back to the water, heated them slowly ( this is all in the slow cooker so generally for 12 hours or so) added some raw silks such as silk laps I had at the bottom of my mordant pot and left it on for another twelve hours. I added a dessert spoon about of ammonia. The silks went a wonderful deep russet red but alas alas it all seemed to rinse out. The rinse water was a blood red at one point. The wool in the bath was better and here is a picture of it.
The black oak bark 50 g of which I put into soak some three days ago and heated has so far dyed 200g of merino tops. The first 50 g was quite a deep yellow with a green tinge. The second which I left on by mistake on low ( again in the slow cooker) overnight has gone a golden yellow. Now I am going to over dye these in indigo as I have a commission to make a green felt bag but fortunately not till after Christmas!
Here is the full range of colours from black oak bark.
I have always wanted to dye with black oak bark so I am really excited to have done so and find the colours so beautiful. The significance of black oak bark is that it is light fast. As light fast as weld apparently so in this respect is very important. I just have to be able to get a good supply of it! This particular batch of black oak came from Earthues via Debbie the Mulberry Dyer so if anyone in the UK wants to try this she should be able to let you have some.


  1. Very good orange! I want that, too:)
    Do you mean you got that with the already once normally cooked blackthorn bark chips? Not the lye soaked ones?

  2. Hi Leena the orange colour was obtained fromm buckthorn bark chips. I had had a dye bath from the chips but then added the chips back into the bath and left for two or three days then heated. Then at the end of the dyeing period added ammonia. The buckthorn bark fermenting with woodash lye is rather interesting as the fibres are a deep gold but where in contact with the air have gone a russet red. I will put a photo up tommorrow Ihope! Life is a bit fraught at the moment and the blog has has to take a bit of a back seat.