Monday, October 20, 2014
Plant Dyes - Elderberry
I dedicated myself in the summer to building my repertoire of plant dyes in the next year. Since one must gather as the year turns, it was time for Elderberries. It's the last of the season for berries, most had begun to wither and dry on the trees. Since I did some very large batches of syrup earlier in the year all the berries I gathered wen into the dye pot.
For the dye materials, I got into my Spinzilla stash. Irish wool, sock-weight Lincoln, and a loop of Lincoln roving. It was all pre-mordanted by soaking in alum and hot water for several hours while the dye bath simmered. Mordanting outside of the dye bath works better, as the mordant can bind up dye particles thus making them unavailable for binding to the fiber.
food-based dyes (Which tend to be less colorfast) and into wild plants and trees. Bindweed seems like a perfect choice as there is no lack of it right outside my back door! How do you push your craft skills?