textiles · exploration · misadventure


Blank White Door

That was a fun day.

That was a fun day.

There was lots of dye-job/old thread matching, and much envisioning of future projects. That’s not to say I have Firm Ideas of what I’ll do with all these samples. Leanings, rather. Yearnings.

Here’s the lichen- and moss-dyed silk and wool again.


Left, silk. Right, Merino wool. Top, lichen-dyed. Bottom, moss-dyed. All handspun yarns. That might have been kind of dumb, but I enjoyed it while I was doing it.

Mordants for both, from left to right are alum, brass, milk, soy, and yogurt.

As previously mentioned, I washed the samples and popped them into the same dyepot. Previously, samples done this way came out with a wide range of shades. These did not.

I’m guessing possibly I did not rinse these as thoroughly as they should have been, and they contained unbonded mordant, not chemically attached to the yarns. It came off in the dyepot, mingled to sameness, then bonded to all the yarns equally, thereby leveling out the color. Just a guess, but it’s known to happen. I should have taken more time. Sometimes I don’t realize I’ve bitten off more than I can chew until I’m chewing.

In other news, the fabrics are some of the best I’ve had. Deep, rich colors on the wools, and a range of colors especially on the cottons that I’ve had yet to see in my dye and mordant experiments. They’re subtle, and I utterly love them. The colors look particularly well on this textured cotton. lichen_moss

Lichen-dyed at left, moss-dyed at right.

The smaller squares are wool, and the I use the black dots to indicate which mordant was used: 1) alum 2) brass 3) copper 4) milk 5) soy 6) yogurt.

The mosses have some particularly glowing colors, and since this is a more prevalent and fast-growing specious compared to lichens, I may try it again.

One of Matthew’s favorite questions is: What are you going to do with it?

I’ve been pondering that in the case of all the wee samples I’m piling up, good, bad, and ugly.

I see some overdyeing experiments in my future. Particularly for some of the same-shade lichens and mosses, and the failed bougainvillea. I have plans for the indigo and madder I bought a while back. I’m looking forward to starting an indigo vat in my new backyard, in a big plastic tub that Matt and I rescued from curbside. I see patchwork and rumpled stitching. I see weaving. I see blankets and garments. I see a textile studio with shelving and lighting, instead of a little dark closet where everything is stuffed and hard to find. I see colors and choices instead of a blank white door.

Signing the lease this weekend.

New little house.

New little house.