Saturday, 1 September 2007

Dyeing with Goldenrod

Here in a suitably yellow bucket are Goldenrod stems, leaves and flowers, picked from the garden, ready to prepare a dye bath.

I planted Goldenrod plants in my garden last year. I was very kindly sent an envelope full of roots last springtime by an Online Guild friend, Mary Carbert.

Mary grows many plants for use in dyeing, and is the daughter of an expert, Jill Goodwin, whose wonderful book "A Dyers Manual" is based on many years of practical experience. Mary is the publisher of the current edition of the book. Click on the title here for a link to a website to learn more about "A Dyers Manual" and its author. This is one of those books I treasure for being good to read, as well as being full of useful information. Just one thing I like about it is long list of common dye plants, giving English and Latin names, and listing the different colours that can be obtained with different mordants. It's a good quality edition, printed on very good paper and well bound, which I also think is important as this is a book that I pick up to read or for reference time and time again.

This next photo shows results from the dyeing with Goldenrod. From the right, the pale yellow was obtained on superwashed merino wool with just my usual pre-mordant of 10% alum (potassium aluminium sulphate) and 8% cream of tartar (potassium hydrogen tartrate). The bright yellow appeared when I added an after mordant of a pinch of tin (stannous chloride) and the green shades on the left came from an after-mordant of iron (ferrous sulphate)

The skeins of green (handspun) yarn you see on the left are shown again in the next photograph. It was Mary who prompted this, she said she had had lovely greens on grey wool. The two yarns on the left are grey Cheviot sheep, and on the right, light grey Suffolk. I am delighted with these green yarns, I think I will use them to knit a stripy beanie hat.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

I love the results of dyes on grey wools. Your greens are lovely!