Saturday, November 27, 2010


When I think of madder, I think of rich, earthy reds and deep, mysterious browns. I think of walking into a deep woods and smelling the soft smell of leaf mulch and Grand Fir.

I don't tend to think of madder as being orange.

I read that if you mix madder with ox blood, the lining of a cows second stomach, and a whole host of minerals, than you might be lucky enough to get Turkey red or a red-orange. I never imagined that I would manage it by accident.

The yarn is handspun Cotswold, true-worsted singles. I used 20%weight of fibre (WoF) for the alum mordant and 100% WoF for the madder dye stuff. I didn't heat it much about 50C, and cooked the yarn in the dye for 1 hour. I should have heated it up more to get a browner colour.

I dyed some other stuff after to exhaust the dye vat.

Now it is very pretty; but, sadly, this colour is totally inappropriate for the project I have planed. I think I'm just going to give up on the whole thing and stash this orange yarn.

I have just enough fibre left to try spinning another warp. But to be honest, I've lost my enthusiasm for this project. Natural or synthetic - dye stuff never seems to do what it promises.


Josiane said...

It really seems that dyes have a mind of their own... Too bad this one batch had in mind something different than you did. It came out gorgeous, which makes it even more sad that it doesn't fit your project anymore. I hope you can find a use for it one day.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

That color makes my eyes so happy!