Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pure Tinctoria: Felt Fine

Pure Tinctoria: Felt Fine

Felt Fine

A  number of felt makers are buying Pure Tinctoria Natural Dye Extracts and our naturally dyed fibres.  I've great pleasure in introducing Felt Fine by Nicola Knapton from Wales.

Nicola's  pictures are wet felted and inspired by the countryside surrounding her Mid-Wales home.  She uses our naturally dyed Blue Faced Leicester and silk caps in her beautiful fine art picture.

Nicola teaches wet felting workshops and has exhibited at a number of Art and Craft Markets in Ludlow.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Wonderwool Wales 2

During this years show I did a number of demonstrations on dyeing with extracts using the "All-in-One" dyeing method.

The first demo on each day was painting tops and hanks and could also be used on warps.  On Saturday I "painted" two 50g bumps of Blue Face Leicester tops and one 100g hank of Blue Faced Leicester lace weight yarn with Lodhra Bark and Kamala.

On Saturday afternoon I used the "All-in-One" method to dye two centre-pull balls with Red Lac and Dhak.  The first one was a two bath dyed ball and the second was an injection ball.

Left: Two Baths  Right: Injection Dyed

Left: Two Baths  Right: Injection Dyed
How the hanks look!

Sunday mornings tops and hank were painted with Cutch and Cutch Waste.

In the afternoon the centre-pull balls were dyed with Chaste Tree and Madder.

Left: Two baths  Right: Injection dyed

Left: Two baths  Right: Injection dyed

The yarn was purchased from Yarnundyed is beautifully soft and has a lovely sheen.  I'm really thrilled with the results.

Wonderwool Wales 1

Lorraine and I had a lovely time at Wonderwool Wales this year.  There was a real buzz about the show on both days and Saturday seemed the busiest we'd ever seen.

Although we didn't win best stand, we had some lovely comments from visitors including:
"this is our favourite stand, the colours are so lovely."

Over the two days I demonstrated "All-in-One" dyeing on painted tops and hanks and "All-in-One" centre-pull ball dyeing.

Explaining about measures and spoons

"This plastic glass holds 100ml up to the bottom line..."

Preparing the mordant liquid

Using the microwave to dissolve the mordants.

Injecting the dyes into the centre-pull ball

"Painting" the tops and hanks

Answering questions...

More mixing!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint - spin, weave and dye your own clothes!

Heres another great video, this time about harvesting the humble nettle, like flax, and making your own clothes with it.  I was so inspired I bought the book off Amazon and am reading it as I write!  It's so interesting and a must read for anyone who is half way into sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.

Let me know what you think of it...  Were you sold?  Appalled? It will make an interesting discussion!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A Preview of the latest Michel Garcia DVD Workshop

This preview of Michel Garcia's new DVD, Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia - Colour of Provence Using Sustainable Methods, is well worth watching and has prompted me to keep up my work on dyeing sustainably and to try to get a copy of the DVD.

The DVD is approximately 3 hours long, but I'm told by Jane Deane that it's worth watching in bite size pieces to get the most out of it, as it's far to long to sit through in one session.  Topics covered included mordants, indigo and woad, printing pastes and printing.

Monday, 9 April 2012

New Indigo Vat Recipes

Last year a group of us went to ISEND, the International Symposium and Exhibition on Natural Dyeing, in La Rochelle, France.  While there we went to a workshop with Michel Garcia who was demonstrating his 1-2-3 vat, an eco vat using indigo, calcium hydroxide and fructose.  Sadly, I couldn't get close enough to take any notes, but once back, my friend and colleague, Jane Deane managed to go to one of his workshops at the NEC.

Jane has been enthusiastically spreading the word about Michel's new eco-vats, with his blessing, as he want's us all to spread the word too!

So here's my first venture in successful eco-vats, a Banana Vat!

Jane had said that Michel thought we would have difficulty getting very ripe banana's in the UK, but I spotted a large bag of ripe banana's in our local Co-op for 20p.  I left them for a couple of weeks so that they were really, really ripe.

Jane said to mash them really well and cover with hot water from a kettle.

I mashed three of my banana's and covered with 4 litres of boiling water and left for 15 minutes.

I added 2 level teaspoons of calcium hydroxide (builders lime, which I purchased from Amazon) and approx. 10g of indigo which I got left from Deb Bamford's Indigo Workshop for the Online Guild last September.

I stirred very fast, in small circles in the centre of the vat (not usually the thing to do, but am assured by Jane that Michel broke lots of rules!) until I got the blue foam, then left for about an hour until the copper film, or flower, had formed on the surface of the water.  It did begin to form after 20 minutes, but resisted the urge to start dipping.

 On the left is a small cotton hank, a bit patchy because I didn't soak sufficiently in my excitement, pale blue after 1 x 2 minute dip.

In the middle is a cotton hank, dipped twice for 2 minutes at a time.

On the right is a cotton hank, dipped 3 times for 2 minutes at a time.

The blue is much brighter in real life!

I then added another mashed banana and 2 level teaspoons of lime, heated gently for about 15 minutes, then removed from the heat and left until the flower formed.

I then added several small hand spun wool hanks, including a wool and cashmere hand and a wool and silk hank.  All were dipped twice for 2 minutes each time.

Again the camera doesn't show the true blue!

FOOTNOTE: Calcium hydroxide doesn't last long, so only buy small amounts.  I got mine from Amazon.
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