Saturday, 18 March 2017

Dyeing with elderberries

This week we got a whole lot of elderberries and, after making a lot of jams and jellies out of them, I decided to try dyeing so I googled it and began experimenting. I somehow forgot/didn't read that you are supposed to simmer the fabric in the dye and mordant (alum), so all the colour washed out.
before washing
                                                           after washing

 so the next day I did more experiments this time heating everything.
These were the results.  Of the two light pink pieces, one was just vinegar and one was just baking soda.  The two maroon pieces were left in the dye overnight.                                                        

                                                       just alum             
                                                                 salt and alum

                                                        baking soda and alum

Once I had finished experimenting I dyed a old damask tablecloth from the op-shop so it would not look so tableclothy.  First I simmered it in salt water (1 salt to 16 parts water approximately) for about half an hour. Then I put it in the dye and alum and simmered it for half an hour and then left it to cool in the dye.
 Then I rinsed it in the bath, most of the red washed out.
More came out in the wash (no soap) leaving it a nice lavender/grey colour.

 by Bryony

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