Natural Dye Test no. 11 of 2016


Hello everyone, today is the last and final dye tests of 2016. When I look at that number I don’t think it looks like very much, but then for most of those posts you have to multiply by three because most posts equal three dye tests. So really I did thirty-three dye tests. That’s a high number. Think I can beat that in 2017? Anyways this post is four dye tests.


Two are very similar just a difference of dried vs. frozen flowers, the flowers were dark pink/burgundy snapdragons. The other two tests are dried purple Sweet Peas and a bundle dye tests of pink and orange dried geranium petals.


I’ll start with the snapdragons. I don’t think that the differences between the two dye baths were that different and I wasn’t expecting them to be that different. I just tested them both to clear some space in the freezer and just for the heck of it. After soaking in water for a few days the dye baths both were a deep red hue and very similar in tone.


When I was disgarding the limp depleted flowers from the baths the only difference between the two is that the dried flowers held onto a bit of pink and the frozen ones were completely white. Despite this it didn’t appear to affect the dye colours very much. If  it wasn’t for the different jar styles I would have gotten them confused.


In the jar they both looked very similar once the fabric pieces were added, I let them soak overnight, and it was clear once I took the fabric out of the jars there was a clear difference in tone.


The colours were the same for the most part. A combination of greens and red hued browns, protein or modanted with alum fibres were more likely to be green and the cellulose or unmordanted fibres were brown (in the pictues the greens are acurate and the browns photographed more pink for some reason).


Now for the difference in hues, the frozen snapdragons gave a dark forest green and the dried ones gave a paler olive-forest green. And all  the browns were all the same tone for the most part, not much difference between the dried or frozen and some of them dried more yellow… Interesting.


Next is the sweet pea dye test. I used dried dark purple sweet peas soaked in rain water for a few days. When I first put them up to soak the water was turning a beautiful deep periwinkle colour, and I was very excited my this.


The next day the dye looked like an acrid yellow. This isn’t the first time a seemingly promising dye totally took a turn for the gross.


I was thinking this would be a total let down after the exciting periwinkle. But to my enjoyment despite the off-putting and misleading water colour resembling pickle juice the fabric absorbed some invisible periwinkle pigment and now all the fabric pieces are a rainbow of periwinkle. The paler tones are cellulose cottons and linens and the silks and wools are much deeper almost evoking an ultramarine.


The geranium bundle dye attempt was a let down, perhaps partially because of the lack of sunshine in these winter months, but then I also just don’t seem to get any luck with solar/bundle dye attempts. I’m not even bothering with a photo of the attempt.


I tried my dried pink and orange geraniums in alum water and I got a rather weak pink colour on the fabric with a few markings from the petals that really only look like dirt stains.


I’m disappointed and I’m thinking I might try another round of this but using the soya solution technique rather than an alum bath. Just to see if that works out better because I would really like to have at least one successful solar dye attempt with flowers. Fingers crossed.


That is it for natural dye tests of 2016, I know this post has gone up in 2017 but I did these earlier in December. I hope you enjoyed!










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