colour riff, or why sometimes the effort is not enough…..

20 May

Or reef?🙂 Pinks and corals after 24 hours in the no heat madder bath —- a bit too soft –my ratio of madder to cloth may not have been high enough, and i think i should have left them longer. I wonder too if ironing them has altered the colour, as i know extreme heat can affect certain dyestuffs–found that out with some hollyhock eons ago. I have a few more scraps in now to see what the result is, as until it’s exhausted, it’s not going to be wasted. As it ferments too, i am supposed to get browner tones–all grist for the mill. Apparently my hard water is good too for madder, but i need to add calcium carbonate.

The larger pieces were premordanted with alum, the smaller without, and unmordanted white silk thread. There was also a long silk scrap was the piece i pulled from the silly indigo experiment. All of the silks look the same to me, as do both cotton pieces. Looks GORGEOUS when wet, though awfully scarletyorange:

madder gorgeous when wet

(Darker colours here are the OTC from yesterday.) Dry madder results, meh:

not so much when dry

in the light comparison

Threads were dyed with the OTC as well, one a medium grey to begin with, one an ecru and the last a variegated grey to black. The nuances together are lovely.

Funnily enough, the last time i made any notes in the dye workbook was almost a year ago to the day, after the Bowen Ecoprint workshop! My results from previous madder experiments were pretty much the same…..

Of course, NOW i look for more info and find this from Aurora Silks in Australia: On silk the colors tend to be more coral or orange; on cotton the colors are to the more rosy coral. The true “Turkey Red” which is the bright clear red of antique cotton quilts, was achieved on cotton through a multi step dye process.

Poop. Oh well, all colour is good, but i’m not sure if it’s worth the effort to start a larger vat with larger pieces for the NBT!

And bother bother BUGGER—Miss Slapshot dumped my dye plant seedlings and used the ensuing mess as a litterbox!!!!!!! I’ll have to start all over again, and hope the time is still good for getting them to the right size in our too short zone 3 growing season!!!!!


Posted by on May 20, 2014 in dye experiments, lessons to learn


5 responses to “colour riff, or why sometimes the effort is not enough…..

  1. debbie.weaver

    May 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Here is a link to somebody else trying to dye with madder, You may already know of her but it might be useful


    • arlee

      May 20, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Thanks Deb, i do “know” Neki–and i need a Ph tester!!!


  2. betty

    May 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Hi, no experiment is silly… it’s an experiment and leads you forward🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this. It actually helps me a lot.
    I stopped taking notes and must go back to it. Your post is wonderful!🙂


  3. freestyle3

    May 20, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Arlee, I think you may have your geography upside down – as far as I can tell Aurora silks/Cheryl Kolander is in California but that ain’t Australia. If there is an Australian Aurora can you give me details please, as I can’t find it.


    • arlee

      May 21, 2014 at 6:36 am

      OOPS, you are correct! I was thinking of Beautiful Silks, which is in Australia, but i did get the madder info from Aurora……


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