Saturday, April 04, 2009

Red Is To Dye For

By Leigh

The Online Guild's April workshop is called "Roots, Woods and Bugs." We are going to be exploring natural dyeing to obtain the color red. We are going to be working specifically with...

Madder rootsMadder
(the roots)

(the wood)

(the bugs)

and Lac. I have the first three, but the last was added to the workshop via an interesting OLG discussion last month. I will have to get some of that. The workshop is being led by Debra Bamford, who is amazingly knowledgeable about natural dyes, and especially their historical uses.

I had problems finding Brazilwood. Earth Guild was out for a couple of months, as were a couple of online shops I frequent. One said they needed to find a new supplier. I finally found some from The Woolery. I had hoped to obtain it sooner, as one experiment for the workshop is that or how color strength is effected by the soaking time of Brazilwood. I can still do that; I just won't have results to show at the end of April. Of course, that's the beauty of doing workshops with the OLG, everything is done from the comfort of our own homes, so we can set our own schedule!

April promises to be a very busy month for me anyway, especially with the WNCF/HG. Not only is Fiber Forum this month, but also committee meetings for the same, the kick-off meeting for 2010's Blue Ridge Handweaving Show, and our first guild meeting at the Folk Art Center and all the arrangements that entails. However, it should be a fun month too.

Now, off to read the first set of recipes for cochineal. Results soon.

Posted 4 April 2009 at

Related Posts:
Natural Dyeing?


Woolly Bits said...

I had planned to join in - but somehow never got around to soaking my dyestuffs:(( so I am going to put some into soaking now, will use some pretty much right away and leave the rest to "stew" in a dark corner somewhere. which will hopefully show the difference in a few months... or not!:)) we can always compare our later results with those of the "early birds"! happy dyeing!

MiniKat said...

Have fun making all of those reds! :-)

charlotte said...

This looks very interresting, I am looking forward to see the dyed yarn. What fibres are you planning to dye? I have used madder and cochineal on wool, but never on other fibres. Good luck!

Leigh said...

Bettina, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who is running "late" on this.

Thank you Minikat!

Charlotte, I'm planning to work with wool. I have a fleece that I mordanted several years ago, and have been using for all of my natural dye experiments (see my Natural Dyeing? post). Eventually I will spin it all and knit something with all of it.

Julie said...

I can't wait to see how the dying turns out!

bspinner said...

According to The Mannings web site they have Brazilwood. You might want to give them a call.
Can't wait to see the results of your dye workshop.

Connie Rose said...

I caution you with that brazilwood, Leigh -- it has very little light fastness. Madder is a lot better at holding the color over time.
Have fun with it all!

deborahbee said...

I will be following your dying with interest.Great that you are doing this just ast the moment, very timely for me!

Helen said...

Hi leigh I have never seen brazilwood like that! Oure is fine chips so you might need considerably longer soaking Helen

Leigh said...

Helen, I was surprised too. When I used Brazilwood for the purple dyeing workshop, I had sawdust. I'm wondering if there is a way I can chop it up myself!