summer study

I’ve decided since i am much a gadfly these past few months with everything but dyeing, that the summer is going to be devoted to studying madder.

Previous to October of last year, my results were weak, embarrassing forays into pale pinks and peaches, ordinary orange, and unenthusiastic brawny beiges when the pot gave out . (HA, that was supposed to be “browny” not “brawny, but some of them were rather beefy! 😉 ) Somehow the magic clicked on October 3 and i finally got RED, red in all its permutations. Though i previously kept notes, i’m not sure why it hadn’t worked until that magic day–heat? Amount/WOF? Improper mordanting? Dunno, don’t care, because whatever it is i’m doing now is working.

I’ve run out of my Maiwa kilo of madder, but managed to scrounge around the Dye Dungeon and found this:

An extremely fine powder, probably due to its age, i encased it in a nylon pantyhose foot. It’s not only a pain in the bazotski shaking powder out of threads and yarns, but it wastes the bits as well, which may still have some colour left.

Alas,  Wide World of Herbs Ltd was dissolved in 1985, long before the web was prevalent, so there’s NOTHING about them, their products or where this madder actually came from. I would like to have supported them, as they were based in Montreal, Quebec (yes, that is SO in Canada 🙂 ). Next best thing, THE best thing now is to buy from Maiwa. (Ordered this morning!)

(In one or two years, i can harvest roots from my own “home grown”.)

I do love red. Before i got into using natural dyes, ecoprinting and rust, which resulted in a lot of earthy neutrals and vintage-y colours, i used a LOT of red in my work. It was unconscious (subconscious?), because i always thought i loved orange. I still do, but in smaller slices and dibs! Red evokes so much to so many, everywhere in the world, politically, spiritually, emotionally, artistically.

Now this isn’t meaning that *i* am going to discover a New madder colour. Look at all of them! There are many more experienced dyers, researchers, scientists and hobbyists who get these results, than this one little personal Dye Dungeon. I however want to know what *i* will get, in my “conditions”–water, heat, the madder i use, the methods i use.

I’d rather be doing something, than the whole lot of nothing that has been going on!

5 responses to “summer study

  1. I am inspired by your red and will give it a try to, just ordering some Madder from Kraftkolour here in Australia. I usually read your posts in my email feed and have only just seen your beautiful background here, they look like personal runes, beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the “brawny beige” label . . . I immediately thought it was a strong beige but not strong enough to call brown. Very apt!
    A summer of red, I haven’t done any dying for a while so I’ll be intrigued by your studies . . . it’ll make my winter warmer perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

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