8th anniversary natural dyes!

To celebrate my loyal customers who have supported me through this adventure, i am offering 20% off EVERYTHING in the shop–that includes sale items, Art and fabrics! As always too, i refund extra postage paid. The discount code is 8AFS, and because the instructions on the form are a bit confusing, after you add the discount code to the little box, make sure you click on the little black circle too!

According to my old blog, i started “messing with potions” in the form of natural dyes, sometime in July of 2010. From threads that faded in days, kvetching that most dye books mentioned only wool, smelly jars that resulted in copious ick and mold, and wondering how you knew what to mordant with what, i’ve come a long way to piles of naturally dyed fabrics in strong colours that last, a rainbow of threads and a library that is dependable and exciting. Along the way came knowledge about the history, economics, science, geography, arts and culture, and folklore and fact, so much more fascinating that any synthesized dye! (I won’t say “chemical” dye, as it’s ALL chemistry, even/especially the naturals! šŸ™‚ )

Lovely lovely hollyhock colours–that faded in a week

I had hard lessons about the value of mordanting, above (i didn’t at all…), and of learning about fugitive dyes, below:

Hibiscus Ha Ha

I learned about the quality of dyes:

Annato powder used on several fibre types

Annatto powder sold for food colouring used on several fibre types, no scouring, no mordant

And the correct WOF use:

Actual annatto, correct WOF, pre-mordanted

I learned that cheaping out does not give good results–if i bought the dyestuff, obviously i should be using it correctly, but these were scoured improperly, poorly mordanted, and low WOF, madder:

And done correctly below:

Yes, it *was* fun, playing with whatever was handy, experimenting and mucking about, and it *is* a way to learn about natural colour, BUT all those poor results, fugitive dyes and improper procedures become expensive wastes of time and materials in the end run. “If it’s worth doing, do it right.” “When in doubt, read the instructions.” Because as my mother always says “You buttered your bread: now you have to lay in it.”

Your thoughts? (Spammers, good luck on that.)

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