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Friday, 22 May 2009

Mordanting Cellulose Fibres

I was reading Deb Bamfords blog, A History of Colour, today and her post was about mordanting cellulose fibres. This prompted me write about some mordanting I did earlier this year with my friend Lorraine.

Those of you who visit Pure Tinctoria at Woolfest and Wonderwool Wales will know Lorraine as my very able helper. I wanted to reward Lorraine for all the help she gives me at these events and won't take a penny in recompense. Knowing she likes makeing quilts, last year I gave her a dyeing kit and cotton fabric for her birthday, and we got together to do the mordanting.

Now, I'm a passionate advocate for wool, British in particular, so I had to get out all my books to check how to do the mordanting properly! I knew I could do it in a one stage process, using aluminium acetate, but Lorraine wanted to do it "traditionally" with the everything in her "kit". So we opted to follow the alum, tannin, alum process. The tannin component was Amber-M (Oak Gall).

I was really impressed with the fabulous colours we got. They are so rich.

This image is of the colours before Lorraine pressed the fabric, but even then they are really beautiful. From Left to Right they are:
Ganges (Dhak), Amazon (Annatto), Rhine-M (Red Lac) and Rhine-S (Purple Lac).

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Rhubarb and Custard Update!

Well I've finally managed to take a photograph of my Rhubarb and Custard scarf and here it is.
I can't give you the pattern for this one as it's copyright, but it's knitted on the diagonal.

I spun the Shetland fibres by taking alternate staple lengths of each colour, red lac and marigold. I didn't want precise staples so that I got a good mix of red lac with red lac and marigold with marigold and red lac with marigold when I plied the two singles.
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