The Booty, the Loot, the Prize:
For the record, i *never* actually store my threads this way, “cute” as it looks, because they develop kinks, and wool especially is snaggy, so better safe than sorry. . I don’t like those little cardboard “bobbins” either, for the same reason. These will be unwound after their DeMille close-up, and bagged. And why yes, they do need to be unreeled and smoothed, and unsnarled, some of them.
By the way, all photos are clickable, then click on the “size” above that photo’s “page”, and you can see more detail, and larger.
Most of the threads i use are cotton, commercially dyed and big brand names, though i’ll use whatever i get my hoofies on as long as it’s quality. I’ve used lately more silk, bamboo and rayon, most dyed “commercially” in the sense that they were originally intended for weavers, as finer warp and weft threads. (A VERY VERY generous friend gave them to me several years ago, and i’m slowly working my way through them, with no replacement possible.) I think i’ll be attending weaver events now 🙂 There’s little natural dyeing done for this market, at least locally, but that’s okay–if i can find finer wools* in cream, beige, ivory, off white–well, you get the picture 🙂
Since i have had little luck with deeper colours on cotton and linen (both cellulose) threads, i ordered a fine wool thread (protein) (ordered from Valdani, no current local weaver events!) and got these pleasing results.
Rhubarb root (no mordant/substantive on its own) left and right, rhubarb root/soda ash modifier:
The same thread piece above left with one end modified with ammonia, the other with copper (rhubarb by itself in the middle):
I still like the glow i got on silk thread 2 years ago though! I’ve thrown some more of that in the pot too 🙂
I notice a greener tinge to the above, dyed with fresh rhubarb root, and the truer yellow of the dried, #4 thread in first photo at top of post).
Just for reference, i had played with rhubarb root in Oct of 2105 and got these results on fabrics:
- 1.cotton first dip with bottom modified with soda ash dip
- 2. 12mm silk hab rhubarb dip only (both this silk and the lone cotton strip were from the first bath dips)
- 3.third (silk) strip shows how fast the bath exhausts
- 4. the first silk dip with the first soda ash modify
- 5. silk dyed in apparently exhausted bath, modified with ammonia
- 6.silk dyed in apparently exhausted bath, modified with soda ash
- 7 silk from exhausted bath with soda ash dip
- 8 is an 8mm silk hab, being tested for future work) from exhausted bath and ammonia dip
Note: rhubarb root gives quite deep colour, but the amount of plant material to fabric is REALLY high, probably 200 to 1 (!), so only the first use has any real value and it exhausts FAST. I’ve tried the leaves before but didn’t have great results. That being said, it’s easier to cut leaves off the one in the back 40, rather than digging up the roots that are left, thusly decimating the whole plant. Time to play with that again as well. All the rhubarb root i have is from a plant dug up two falls ago when they were tearing down the house next door. Nobody else will let me dig theirs up, go figure 🙂
Left, brazilwood/alum mordant/soda ash modifier on wool; centre, brazilwood/alum and iron mordants/soda ash on wool; right, brazilwood/alum mordant/soda ash modifier on silk (AMAZing the colour uptake difference, ay?):
Since the silk went in AFTER the wool, i’m assuming the wool took up most of the reds. Wonderful though! EDIT: more wool in brazilwood, back to reds, obviously VERY different uptakes/reactions between wool and silk.
I’ve also ordered a 20%silk/80%wool blend thread, that i hope will give me an entirely different range of colours. Given the difference between the silk and the wool in the brazilwood, what will happen when both are in the mix together?
I must say the two on the left above were surprising: i thought the gallnut mordanted thread would be a deeper shade, not a *different* colour than the alum. They were done in two separate containers decanted from the same bath, so it’s not a case of one taking from the other. Proves that proper mordanting (and modifying) can really affect things! EDIT: I did a second batch where i switched the same containers, thinking it was a fluke, but nope: alum gives the blues with hollyhock and purples with gallnut, BUT i think the hollyhock bath started to ferment, as i got these darker shades on the right! It’s also starting to smell like poo….. I think i’ll throw some threads and scraps of fabric in, and try the long ferment method as well. Waste not, want not 🙂
Hollyhock/alum/soda ash left, Hollyhock/gallnut/ammonia right :
and then i switched ends and dipped the alum mordanted in the ammonia, and the gallnut mordanted in the soda ash, but same difference, no third colour, odd!
A couple of “variegateds”, rhubarb root with brazilwood/gallnut/iron/soda ash top, and rhubarb root/alum/brazilwood/soda ash, bottom:
I did all of these as 10 yard pieces, thinking that’s enough for sampling. The colours i really like will have more done (with hoofies crossed that the results are reasonably consistent.) When i buy wool thread again, i want a slightly heavier weight–these are lovely but probably equivalent to a 1 ply 20wt! *The only problem with buying wool thread, is that there is no standard for weights, like there is for cotton. I always know what i’ll get with #3/5/8/12/18/20 in cotton (and silk is always fine due to its nature), but wool is labelled as lace, fingering etc with no real idea of what that means manufacturer to manufacturer.
Not sure yet what the next stitching work will actually be, not even sure i will have anything to show for the end of residency exhibit, but oh well. As i said, it’s been a slow Slow Summer, and i’m fine with that.