Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Cleaning: Find #4

By Leigh

I was cleaning out my spice cabinet the other day and look what I found...

I don't even know how old this tumeric tin is.A can of turmeric! It is commonly used as a culinary spice in Far East cuisine. According to this article in Wikipedia, it is also used as a food additive for coloring foods and protecting them from sunlight, as a dietary supplement for digestion, as an antiseptic in Ayurvedic medicine, as an experimental cancer treatment in clinical studies in Western medicine, in cosmetics, as an ingredient in radiator stop-leak sealant mixtures, in gardening to deter ants, and as a dye.

It's been eons since I shopped at a Kroger. The last I remember was when I lived in Houston, some 18 to 20 years ago. The fact that this tin is still full after all those years, gives you some idea of the kind of cooking I do (or don't do.) But that's okay, because since that time I've become a fiberist and am going to use this for some natural dyeing. Hopefully time has not effected it's potential as that regard, but that is something I intend to find out. More on that soon.

Posted 24 March 2009 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com

Related Posts:
Spring Cleaning: Find #1 - madder roots
Spring Cleaning: Find #2 - my heirloom coverlet
Spring Cleaning: Find #3 - prints for my wall


Geodyne said...

Oh, fabulous. You'll get the most lovely yellow out of that.

I'm sure you know you need to mordant it.

Jackie said...

I did some lovely tumeric dyeing last year with some old tumreic. And then I went out and bout some more! I also started making curries which call for tumeric so I have a steady stream of it coming through the house now.

Life Looms Large said...

I like how your spring cleaning involves unearthing many things that can be used for dyeing!! I have some similarly ancient spices in my cupboards as well.

I didn't know that Kroger was still in business - not living in Kroger country any more. But sure enough, they are!

If only I were as motivated to clean as I am to read blogs!


Leigh said...

Geodyne, I haven't done my homework on tumeric dyeing yet, but I figured it would need a mordant when I read in Wikipedia that it made a "poor" fabric dye. Fortunately, I have a large chunk of mordanted fleece, just waiting to be wetted and dyed.

Jackie, I remember those posts! I'll have to re-read them.

Sue, you're probably right about Kroger. I have to admit I lost track of them when we moved to a place that didn't have one. Do try those spices though. Even a little color should be better than none(?)

Julie said...

I have spices that my mom had some 20 to 25 years ago. I don't know why I keep them.
I can't wait to see how the dying comes out.

Dorothy said...

I've dyed with turmeric and the colour was fine - but when I carried out a light fast test it faded fast and looked horrible. My turmeric has gone back in the cupboard for good! For a photo, see this blog post:

It's my understanding that where turmeric is used to dye buddist robes they re-dye them every year.

Anonymous said...

For a screamingly bright yellow, try premordanting with tin. Just remember, turmeric isn't light fast, but it is a cool color while it lasts, and a favorite at my dye day events.

Kathy said...

The only "problem" with the natural dyes is that most tend to lighten with age and watch you don't put any finished article in the sunlight. Many are great dyes, but you know what the law is: If it's your favorite color, it will not be fast. :)
Mordanting will help, but I have even seen many a Navajo rug around here - older ones to be sure - that has faded in spots if it's used much, such as for saddleblankets. That's why some of the Navajos have turned to analine dyes, which is a sad thing in itself.

Kate said...

Isn't that odd that it is an ingredient in radiator stop-leak sealant mixtures?

Good luck with your experiments!

Wool Enough said...

I love tumeric. It dyes a gorgeous gold/yellow. And it's a major ingredient in a recipe I have for yellow pea soup. Yum!