Thursday, 12 May 2011

New Season, New Experiments

Dyeing season is beginning again, and I’ve got a couple experiments going already. My bathroom windowsill faces south, and generally does not have a cat in it, so it is holding two bottles of things soaking for dye.
One is avocado pits and peels, which are supposed to give pink. I tried this last summer, and was disappointed in the results, but I only had time to let it soak (in ammonia water) a couple days, and most people seem to get better results with longer soaking before cooking/dyeing. Looks hopeful – it’s really dark red-brown and there’s only the remains of one avocado in there.

 The second bottle is plume poppy (Maclea cordifolia? I'm sure that's not the spelling, but anyway...) roots. Every year it tries to sprout from runners in the garden, and I have to dig the runners up. The runner roots are orangey-yellow, as are the sap spots on my hands (it washes off easily, though). So I chopped up the runners from this session, and popped them in a second jar, along with water and ammonia, same as the avocado. There is some color coming off, (more green than I expected, but that may be the ammonia) and I don’t doubt there will be more runners to add.
Now with any luck the weekend will have some decent weather and I can start cleaning out the dye garden.

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