Caliente! Picoso! Candente!

Very very happy with latest thread colours, a mix of old moldy cochineal (yup, really, astounding colours), madder, osage, marigold, combinations of, and various post modifiers, all 100% cotton.

 

The linen was sunny too! Osage over marigold (Only because the marigold was weak. So weak in fact, that it fainted on the way to the dyebath. Dyeing yellow over yellow for any reason still gives you only yellow πŸ™‚ ), and over madder.

The full Panoply of Sweet Pepper Power:

If you click on the photo below, you can see all the lovely nuances in these lavender ash and grape skeins. YUM.

And i’m hoping when this velvet below is dry, that’s as beautiful as i think it’s going to be!

I have two sets of some of the threads in the shop too πŸ™‚ Edit: one set left!

on fire in the Dye Dungeon

These are the results of my boiled water madder pot. (Note: the water was boiled first, cooled to proper temp, then madder added. Madder does not do well over 180Β°F/82Β°C) I’ve never had such deep reds on silk before, but it *might* be because of the rayon blended in. I don’t honestly know if boiling the water made any difference, except for the removal of chlorine, however i’m not going to complain!!!!!!!!!!!

First extraction/use gave me these:

The second was these:

The top one is mottled because it was on top, and because i didn’t add more (boiled) water, it didn’t have as free movement as it should have. Even so, i love the results, a wonderful mottling!

Linen from the second pot at the same time was a bit disappointing, but still good.

Cellulose fibres like cotton, linen, hemp, rayon etc don’t have as much uptake, but linen is the hardest (in my personal experience) to get deep colour on.

I’m doing a third use with cotton eyelet, but i can see already the pot has had most of its red component used, and has more brown tinge too. Kind of reminds me of an antique coral, so that’s okay too πŸ™‚

My dyeing week is almost over, and next week the plan is to get to some stitching again.

no manual included

Trees and moons and Spring are on m y mind–though *that* is far away right now, with -21C to -25C projected for this coming weekend. (My son has been in Uganda since the beginning of November–is he gonna get a shock, trying to climatize again to Alberta weather, after almost 2.5 months of African heat!) I’ve picked an indigo overdyed osage cotton, 2 different velvets for another blue moon, a previously screensprinted and then stencilled indigo cotton, and a hunk of the most wonderful chartreuse velvet i only hope i can replicate again! That one is the right side and you may notice a funny bit of photo editing to show the correct colour, a square of green set in the yellow–it ain’t yellow, but the studio is so wrong for photographing colour, and i was too pooped to drag everything upstairs and anyways, it’s a grey snowy day, so bear with me πŸ™‚

Here’s the indigo over osage:

Above is the piece of cotton i will use as the background (has bluer tones), below is a larger piece (greener tones) that i am drooling on and fondling:

I had revved up my indigo vat again on the weekend past. (Actually i had to start from scratch as the originals had to be dumped for the move…..too little to save, and too much chance of spillage or oxygen overload as it sloshed on a truck!) First results were not encouraging, but after asking in an indigo group what the problem might be, have concluded it might have been the tannin premordant, *and* the cutch, which is *also* a tannin. See the grey around the darker marks of indigo? (All photos in my posts are clickable for larger viewing.) I like the effect, but if it doesn’t “stick” well, it’s not a good practice if i wish to flog my goods later! (It also appears to have stripped the madder…)

Apparently tannin repels the indigo, something a lot have discovered with indigo and ecoprinting. Of course, checking my Boutrup/Ellis book, i should know better anyways and do the indigo first, THEN the mordanting, then the overdyeing. The two osage/indigo pieces mentioned above were done after this debacle, and though of course they were premordanted with tannin and alum, they don’t have as much tannin as the tannin/cutch piece, so the indigo struck properly!

I’ve been meaning to add less expensive, ready to use items to my inventory as well. Here’s the first test piece, a cotton neckscarf, clamp shibori-ed, and modelled by the ever silent Madame LaToussa.

I do like that, if i say so myself! The only problem is that the scarves were obviously hemmed with a polyester thread, but it’s not obtrusive enough to bother me (or probably anyone else) greatly. Barely noticeable.

I also have today clamped a shibori indigo dyed very hairy very scarey very contrary chenille scarf, ready to overdye, and as i mentioned in a previous post, i will do a post about that. I’m pretty sure it’s a failure, a funny one, and probably still wearable, but definitely a failure. You can judge for yourself at the time of showing πŸ™‚

I’d have a nap now, but Greyman will be home in several minutes.

I will have a nap now.

 

studio time finally, and a shop update

This past week i have said to hell with unpacking boxes, shuffling furniture around and organizing things in our new home. I finally got down into the studio and had fun!

Digging through the silk velvet scraps for the elf mentioned in a previous post, had me wondering what to do with all the dinky teeny itsy bits. If you love velvet and other luxe fabrics, you get that–no small left behind! πŸ™‚ And when they’re naturally dyed, they are even more precious!

And yes, they DO come as PAIRS πŸ™‚ Hmm, might be cute Christmas ornaments as well!

This weekend however, the two of us will be descending to the depths, and getting laundry appliances moved around, a laundry sink and water filter hooked up, tools settled into shelves, and the last of my studio stuff IN the studio, out of boxes, bags and piles. Once that is done, i plan on settingΒ  myself a schedule of sorts to get work done, the serious stuff (Samara, poor Samara!), and some more fun things as well.

 

naturally dyed silk velvet

I’ve had a love affair with velvet since i was 12 and found a Vogue magazine that advised “A pant of lavender panne velvet is the essential in a bohemian styled wardrobe.” I’m not sure *how* i thought my 60cent an hour babysitting jobs were going to finance the purchase of an $800 garment, but that was obviously beside the point (I’ve never forgotten that quote either…) Natural dyes coupled with silk velvet have me quite giddy at the moment. 😍

I just have to fire up the indigo pot, do some dye combinations and extend the colour range a bit more as we need greens, blues, purples, almost-blacks, different pinks!

Listings will start on July 5th, with 2 differently sized packs, and as always, i refund any extra shipping paid!

richness

Cutch and madder on silk velvet, MOAN. Can’t wait to work with these beauties! Admittedly i wanted the madder red on the velvet like the last few cotton results, but this deep rose is yumshy, wonderful with that foxy cutch!

SWOON

Colour, texture, what’s not to love about these? More of the 34 year old madder results (60+ year old nylon lace, degummed silk, silk/rayon blend velvet, cotton eyelet) β£οΈπŸ’•πŸ’žπŸ’“πŸ’—πŸ’–πŸ’˜πŸ’β€οΈ

Alberta dye garden woes

While you are all posting pictures of fields of buttercups, gardens of woad, and the leaves and flowers you picked on a walk, i am worrying about the madder i uncovered last week. This is what i woke up to this morning in Calgary!

It was a horrendous night: flickering lights, eddies of swirling 90K driven snow devils around the house, no visibility, and the DogFaced Girl sounding like a Dire Wolf (reacting to fire truck sirens, because of course, though snow happens EVERY year in Alberta, 90% of drivers forget how to drive in it….). So, we battened down the hatches, piled onto the couch with the last beer to share, some snacks and continued our binge watching of GoT. Typical Alberta winter survival mode πŸ™‚

This madder has survived two of our usual harsh winters, by being heeled into the garden in its pot, but i’m concerned any new growth may be damaged this time. Previous years, there was no snow after the uncovering!

Since madder is a “crop” that doesn’t get harvested until it’s third year, i’m hoping too that the roots have survived, as this is the summer i’m supposed to start using it. I have three scraggly little plants inside, cuttings in the fall from the mother plant that took root, but having to wait another three years for them? POOP.

And of course, several days previous to this, i had noticed tiny leaves popping up from the dyer’s chamomile in the back40………

HOOFIES CROSSED that all survive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!