Sunday, 27 July 2008
A week or so ago I used the leaves of one of my dyers knotweed (Polygonum tinctoria) to get that most elusive of colours for natural dyer -turquoise. I principally followed the method that I found on the net as below :
I picked the leaves of the one plant that has grown indoors , which weighed 96g.
I rinsed them
Put them to drain
Then chopped up the leaves with a pair of scissors. It was then I realised that my hands were going turquoise , a very good sign I thought. I found a reference to this technique in Dominque Cardon's book Natural Dyes and she said to add 0.7litres to 50 g of leaves. So I added 1.3litres and then kneaded the leaves with the water going green . I added 125ml of 10% acetic acid ( in proportion to 50ml of 25% acetic acid /20 litres) .
I strained the liquour off and then ran into difficulties not quite understanding the instructions but kneaded the leaves again with added vineagr. I am not quite sure if this was right prehaps I should have jsut kneaded the leaves in the original dyebath I am not sure here.
At this point my dyebath should have gone much darker but it did not. I put my pieces of silk in anyway and went off to have a cup of tea. Whne I returned half an hour later the silk was turquoise. Hooray! I put it back in three or four times and it slowly went darker,
Today I tried again with a magnificant 1.2 Kilos of leaves from Enys' greenhouse but I have got a pale green rather than a turquoise and not very much of that. :( I think that in retrospect I did not knead the leaves enough. I will try again soon! As soon as I have enough leaves that is.