Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Dyeing with extracts

Posted by Helen
I have a lot of workshops coming up all in the next three weeks: Leaves of Gossamer Felt (felting a scarf from 18.5micron merino), two Winter Landscapes and a weekend of Felt and Fabric Tote Bags.
I have had great fun dyeing the materials for these workshops and here is the result. All the fibres are hand painted in natural extract dyes which I use a lot especially for painting the fibres multicolours, but the very strong pink (bottom left) is dyed in cochineal extract 2g /100g of fibres. The exhaust a lovely pale delicate pink is in the dye bath as I write. The wool is all 18. 5 micron merino, and in the centre are balls of muslin for the Felt and Fabric Tote Bags. THe other fabrics are silk caps (some times known as mawata caps) some pieces of silk chiffon and teeswater. I am very proud of my dyed merino as I have, over the years, developed the technique which leaves the fibres open and soft.My friend Debbie, the Mulberrry Dyer, says I am the only person she knows who knows how to do this.
The dyes are cochineal, lac, logwood purple, logwood grey, madder, green, osage orange, fustic and persian berries. The lac and the madder are from Tinctoria Dyes, and the rest are Earthues except for the green & persian berries which are Living Colour extracts both of which come from the Mulberry Dyer.

I must be feeling better as I am blogging at night the first time I have done so since before the great lurgy struck me down.


  1. Wish I had more time...
    Glad you are feeling better
    Alison xx

  2. lovely colours, Helen! I haven't yet used the extracts, somehow I still have so much stuff lying about, that I am reluctant to add to the mountain. but I will eventually use them too, as otherwise multicolours aren't so easy to achieve with natural dyes... I hope your workshops are going to be fun!

  3. Helen.

    Good to see you are able to blog again. What a lovely colours, the fibres look great.
    I'll be using some of the Tinctoria Dyes in next months Red Dyeing workshop with Deb at OLG but I will be dyeing on yarn.


  4. I love the ease of use of the extracts
    and I love painting fibres with them too as you can see. Another session tomorrow!
    Thanks for popping in-it is so nice to read comments on my blog

  5. I'm glad you're feeling better. Sounds as though you're going to be very busy presently and so need your good health!

    I meant to comment on your rhubarb post because I thought it was excellent. I think I got distracted from that though, but here I am a little late, letting you know.

  6. Glad your feeling so much better.

    Lovely colours. Very much enjoyed your piece in the Journal, I thought your instructions for new dyers beautifully clear and encouraging. The photo of dyed rovings is fabulous - as are the pictures here. I am getting around to considering the extracts, although it's also great fun just pulling plants out of the garden and sticking them in a dye pot.