Second go at bougainvillea dyeing.
Same procedure as last time: prune, macerate, soak, strain, divide into jars, pop in the yarn.This time I used more strongly mordanted fibers, made the dye stronger by using more bougainvillea and less water—and had the not so brilliant idea to leave the jars on the back porch during the three hottest days of the year while I was out of town and couldn’t keep my eye on them.
My dye jars were beautiful the day we left. Healthy. Pink, even.
Sun might help set the color more brilliantly, I thought.
Perhaps the stronger dye will strike the wool better in the hot weather, I thought.
I came home to seven jars of brown murk. No scarlet. No brilliance.
Red dyes from flowers can turn brown easily in heat, which is one reason I was doing these solar in the first place: lower temperatures. But dark dye inside glass jars in full sunlight in hundred-degree weather? Foolhardiness. Not using the old furshelf.
I hung the samples to dry, commiserated with Matthew and his mama, who was visiting at the time, and thought I’d call the blog post Brown is Easy.
Once washed and dried, things were better. The fabrics were a fail, but the yarns had color, actually. Not just brown, but subtle, saturated colors. Pretty. Successful, even. But still not vibrating red.
Now. I’m going to sharpen my pruning shears and water that fucking bougainvillea.
October 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm
Aw man! Still pretty browns, though!
October 14, 2015 at 4:22 pm
Thanks, K.E.! I do like them, even if they weren’t the brilliance I was hoping for.
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