Wool, silk, and linen pre-mordanted with oak galls, and then modified with iron
Iron as a pre-mordant
In all of the natural dyeing I’ve been doing (or hoping to do!) in the last little while, I read a little about using iron as a pre-mordant instead of alum. In Rebecca Burgess’ Harvesting Colour: How to find plants and make natural dyes, she notes that while alum is used for most of recipes in her book, iron is useful in several.
Green oak galls
I’ve read about oak galls and their place in dyeing and ink-making a little, and didn’t think too much of them – I don’t really think of oak trees in Calgary (compared to trips to Louisiana!) but while out for a walk (playing PokemonGo!) I noticed that one of the parks near me had cute little (young) oak trees. A closer look… and there were the weird clustered balls.
The colour of avocado dye on linen, silk, and wool is so similar to the peonies in my backyard
If you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll know that I am really enjoying exploring natural dyes. I don’t suspect I’ll ever be as prolific or dive in as deep as others I know, but I’m having fun at the moment.
As part of that, I like the idea of using found-dyestuffs; things from my garden or wanderings, or in this case, my kitchen. While lots of natural dyestuffs are available by order, these found-dyestuffs appeal to me – for lots of reasons, including economy! Continue reading
Madder dyed, undyed, and Aster-Marigold dyed wool
A while back a friend proposed a dyeing day at her house. She’d just finished an inspiring natural dyeing class, and wanted to keep playing with fun dyes!
I wanted to join in, so I brought up some of the wool fibre I still had left and hadn’t spun up yet (in this case it was Grade A USA Top, in natural white) and tried to spin it fairly fine. I then decided to ply it too… (because when tight for time… why NOT do twice the work, right?)
The final effect – white hair!
It was never my intention for this to become a “beauty blog” so I’ve kept most of my product comments and reviews about great nail polish (I’m loving Gosh right now which I get from Shoppers Drug Mart) or eye shadows (I just picked up some of the cream shadows for cheeks & eyes from Make Up Forever) far between but I thought I would do a bit of a post about ‘going white’… in terms of hair…
Toning samples close-up
This blog is largely about sewing and costuming and crafting – and on the costuming bent, I know that a few people read this blog who cosplay… and I know that a few cosplayers want to dye their hair instead of wearing wigs (especially if you have long, thick hair like mine, which is nearly impossible to stuff under a wig). If you want to go a light blond or pastel colour (or if you just want your bright colour to really pop) one of the things you’ll likely have to do (unless you were born with light blond hair and have retained it through the years – I was, but didn’t) is bleaching out your hair.