Okay -dyeing!

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Random Mumblings
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Okay -dyeing!

Post by Random Mumblings »

Well now I'm expert at tablet weaving and so on I need a new challenge....... :lol:

Okay, start again.....a bit more truthfully this time.

I'm mid way through the next lot of kit but I can't get any madder dyed linen :( Bernie is almost completely out of linen now and is talking about commissioning his own dyed stuff now as it's getting hard to find, Herts Fabrics also don't have any and I *need* orange or russet-y colours. I'm not paying a fortune for it so my bright ( or stupid) idea was to dye some PFD linen.

Funnily enough I went to a natural dyeing workshop last year at the NEC but have completely forgotten most of it, so need to start from scratch.

I need a supplier of the dye and mordants, a dyeing for dummies guide, and a HUGE pan. Anyone recommend anyone?

Ta

Rumbly x

Handbag
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Post by Handbag »

i get a lot of my dyeing supplies from http://www.scottishfibres.co.uk/

madder is really easy mordanted with alum just heat (not boil) the madder for about 2hrs then add the mordanted cloth and keep it in as long as you need until your happy with the colour.

the best thing about madder is that you can dry it and reuse it (it will give paler shades)

also speak to sally pointer as she does an excellent beginners guide to dyeing!!

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sally
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Post by sally »

You 'can' madder dye in the washing machine, but you will get paler shades. I save up all my madder dregs, at the point when I can't be bothered to take off the pinks and peaches, and then when I have a bowlful I stuff them in a stocking leg, pre wash my fabric, soak the net of madder overnight to soften it up, stuff it all in the machine with a couple of tablespoons of alum and a handful of salt and boil wash it. I generally get pale salmon pinks, but worth doing rather than chucking out the leftovers.

Works with weld too

Random Mumblings
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Post by Random Mumblings »

Handbag wrote: also speak to sally pointer as she does an excellent beginners guide to dyeing!!
Sally? Beginners guide to dyeing sounds like a good place to start!

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sally
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Post by sally »

Random Mumblings wrote:
Handbag wrote: also speak to sally pointer as she does an excellent beginners guide to dyeing!!
Sally? Beginners guide to dyeing sounds like a good place to start!
pop over to the shop m'dear
www.sallypointer.com/shop, should find madder there too and let me know when you order and I'll add a couple of spoonfulls of alum gratis :D

Random Mumblings
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Post by Random Mumblings »

sally wrote:
Random Mumblings wrote:
Handbag wrote: also speak to sally pointer as she does an excellent beginners guide to dyeing!!
Sally? Beginners guide to dyeing sounds like a good place to start!
pop over to the shop m'dear
www.sallypointer.com/shop, should find madder there too and let me know when you order and I'll add a couple of spoonfulls of alum gratis :D
Thanks Sally. Do I need tannic acid for dyeing linen too or is it an optional extra?

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sally
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Post by sally »

I never have but I often add a glug of vinegar when pre-washing linen, may have a very minor effect

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

I know nothing about dying, but why are you adding acids to the mix? I know that alum or other metal salts act as a mordant and both fix the dye and alter it's colour, but I can't see why you'd need the acid. :?

I can, however think of one reference to steeping linnen in vinegar, but that has something to do with preapring it to make defensive jacks. I don't know if is to make it 'fluffier' or tougher though.
Colin

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Random Mumblings
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Post by Random Mumblings »

Colin Middleton wrote:I know nothing about dying, but why are you adding acids to the mix? I know that alum or other metal salts act as a mordant and both fix the dye and alter it's colour, but I can't see why you'd need the acid. :?

I can, however think of one reference to steeping linnen in vinegar, but that has something to do with preapring it to make defensive jacks. I don't know if is to make it 'fluffier' or tougher though.

http://www.fibrecrafts.com/resource/fac ... rdants.asp

The tannin isn't for the dyebath, but to prepare the cellulose fibres in the linen. Just wondered if this was what was actually done in practice.

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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

The only trouble is, you can't dye linen orange or russet, or any deep red colour with natural dyes, not until the Turkey Red process was introduced, which was far too late for Vikings, Rumbly!
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Random Mumblings
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Post by Random Mumblings »

Attilla the Bun wrote:The only trouble is, you can't dye linen orange or russet, or any deep red colour with natural dyes, not until the Turkey Red process was introduced, which was far too late for Vikings, Rumbly!
That's okay, I'll see what colour I can get it with madder :D So, are you saying that the Saxons/Vikes didn't have any red or orange fabric at all? Because I've been told otherwise and would be interested in where you get that information from? Purely out of interest, not being funny.

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Neibelungen
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Post by Neibelungen »

You can add vinegar and/or use tannic acid in dyeing fabric because the PH and hardness of the water itself will have an effect on the colour.

It's one of the reasons why places like Stroud were famed for their reds because of the quality of the water they used.

Though not strictly correct for earlier periods tin was used as a mordant because it gave 'brighter' colours than alum, which was still better than tannic acid mordants.

a lot depends on the dye material used as well, as some colours and shades do better in a more 'sour' solution or harder waters.

It's either a case of trial and error or reading through a few dyeing books.

Attilla's coments was more about how difficult it is to get a deep rich colour on linen, compared to wool. Because it's a vegetable fibre compared to an animal it's doesn't take up some dyes as well, and strong bright reds were always a difficult process

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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

It likes woad and indigo though! :D And shellfish purple, although I've never heard of anyone using that on linen.

Could you be a blue viking, perhaps?


:wink:
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Random Mumblings
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Post by Random Mumblings »

Attilla the Bun wrote:It likes woad and indigo though! :D And shellfish purple, although I've never heard of anyone using that on linen.

Could you be a blue viking, perhaps?


:wink:
Technically, I'm not gonna be any sort of Viking.... :wink:

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Neibelungen
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Post by Neibelungen »

Might be pushing it to be a an indigo Viking though :wink:

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Attilla the Bun
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Post by Attilla the Bun »

Random Mumblings wrote:
Attilla the Bun wrote:It likes woad and indigo though! :D And shellfish purple, although I've never heard of anyone using that on linen.

Could you be a blue viking, perhaps?


:wink:
Technically, I'm not gonna be any sort of Viking.... :wink:
Silly me :oops:
Age and Treachery will always overcome Youth and Skill

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sisterwulfe69*
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Post by sisterwulfe69* »

try P&M Woolcrafts they are very helpful
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ViscontesseD'Asbeau
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Post by ViscontesseD'Asbeau »

This is the bible of dyers and truly the only book you will ever need (and no it's not written by anyone I know! But I've been dyeing years and this book has never been bettered):

http://www.adyersmanual.co.uk/dye_garden.html

Inspirational, practical and fun. You suspect with other books on dyeing, they haven't really got the experience or expertise to support writing a book at all.

Covers mordanting and Jill gives the most exhaustive lists of dye plants and the colours you get anyone ever has - probably because she wrote it using decades' worth of notes. Don't waste your money on a pamphlet or a less substantial thing as you'll just need to spend out again, pretty soon on something as good as this.

It went out of print in the mid 1980s and until reprinted a couple of years back, copies were going on ebay for £100. That's how good it is.

I grow my own dye plants and have for over 20 years - it's cheaper. But if I run out of summat or want to buy, I use:

www.fibrecrafts.com

No good for dyes, but the best for fibres is:

www.winghamwoolwork.co.uk

Hope that helps.

Things like salt and vinegar are assists. They are not mordants and won't help keep a colour on the fibre. There are many substantive dyes you can use like walnut shells, alder, or woad, that don't require any mordant. Changing the acidity of a dye pot will change the colour - but assists will not stop your colour from being fugitive. I tend to dispense with them cept for maybe in a final rinse when washing the dyed fibre.

You will get good results still by using much less mordant than recipes suggest - someone did a series of experiments a few years back to demonstrate this, (published in 'A Spinster's Almanack') and it does appear to be the case. You will also get good results by combining mordanting with dyeing, so long as the fibre is well wetted out before it goes in, the mordant and dye dissolved well, commonsense stuff, really. So you can play it by the book or save a bit of time and simultaneously dye and mordant.

Linen doesn't take dye as well but again, you can help it along by using a higher % of dyestuff to weight fibre - and/or dyeing it longer.

A good dyer will have no problem getting a deep, clear strong red but it takes practice. In the case of madder you're paying attention to several things - the KH of the water (usually not critical in most dyeing so not something you need to worry about for 95% of your dye experiments), and the temperature of the dyepot which must be kept under boiling point (also usually unimportant). A jam making thermometer helps but isn't crucial if you're vigilant..

Orange you could get with calendula, onion skins, or overdyeing a red with a yellow - although my weapon of choice would be coreopsis which of course isn't native so no good for Romans, I guess.

You can get a hideous russet precisely the colour of a 17thC New Model Army coat by overdyeing woad with madder - it's not a nice purple, but a brick red. A failed madder dye bath would have the same result (deliberately overboiling it).

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Post by Random Mumblings »

ViscontesseD'Asbeau wrote: Don't waste your money on a pamphlet or a less substantial thing as you'll just need to spend out again, pretty soon on something as good as this.
Oh, well I've got Sally's pamphlet and to be honest it has all the information I need for the moment. I doubt I'll do a lot of dyeing, I just want a dabble, so A couple of quid spent for the basic information I need is fine.

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Post by WorkMonkey »

Random Mumblings wrote: That's okay, I'll see what colour I can get it with madder :D So, are you saying that the Saxons/Vikes didn't have any red or orange fabric at all? Because I've been told otherwise and would be interested in where you get that information from? Purely out of interest, not being funny.
You can get anything from scarlet reds, to rusty oranges, but this is dying on wool which holds the colour alot better, as far as I'm aware its nigh on impossible to make linen hold a dye long-term using authentic dyeing methods but im open to be proved wrong.
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ViscontesseD'Asbeau
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Post by ViscontesseD'Asbeau »

Dyer's Manual is on ebay at the moment, just spotted it tonight when I was looking for summat else, if anyone's interested.

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