roughly 80 grams of found fungus
5 grams of unmordanted wool yarn
5 grams of alum mordanted (20% WOF) wool yarn
5 grams of Sauerkraut mordanted yarn (yes, you read that right)
- Hacked up the fungus in to as small a chunks as I could. It was quite woody so some of the chunks were much larger than others. Soaked in water 24 hours.
- Brought to a simmer for 1 hour, then added the unmordanted yarn. Turned off heat, got distracted and left the vat with the yarn in it, for about 24 more hours.
- Brought dye vat to simmer for 1 hour. Added mordanted yarns (alum and Sauerkraut) and simmered another hour. The colour from the dye water was almost clear by this stage, so I felt that the vat was exhausted.
- Removed and washed yarn. Dried yarn. Took photo of yarn.
- I should mention, I never bothered to take the mushroom bits out of the dye vat at any time, I figured they were big enough not to bother the yarn too much.
|from left to right:|
no mordant, alum mordant, and sauerkraut mordant
- Unmordanted yarn was the darkest colour. This makes sense seeing as it was in the dye bath the longest. It's quite a pleasant, earthy orange-brown.
- The Alum yarn was the lightest colour, almost yellow. It also has a harsh texture, indicating that 20% WOF is way too much for alum. I'm going to try 10% next time.
- The Sauerkraut yarn is my favourite for texture and colour. It is much softer than any of the others including the undyed yarn. It also has a pleasant sheen to it. This is something I want to experiment more with in future, for light fastness and washing ability. It might just be a fluke it worked as a mordant, but I wonder if the live enzymes and the acid worked together somehow.
|No mordant, alum mordant and sauerkraut mordant|
with original yarn sample on top
How I mordanted the Sauerkraut yarn - had a very old vat of sauerkraut (live culture, not canned) that was heading to the compost, so I stuck the yarn in the juice for about two hours, then heated the entire thing, cabbage and all, to the boiling point. I didn't even bother rinsing it before plunking it in the dye vat.