Sunday, June 17, 2007

Break Out the Tums its Time for...Madder!

No, the Tums aren't for me but are actually for the Madder. Madder likes the water hard and adding Tums to the mordant* bath and the dyebath at about 1 tablet per gallon of water, conditions the water to Madder's requirements. I use regular strength peppermint flavor. Here are skeins dyed in Madder extract. Madder is a root and one of my all time favorite natural dyes. It is very versatile as you will see when I start adding Cream of Tartar to the mordant baths later on. As usual, this picture doesn't even come close to the luscious, glowing colors produced. The iron changes the dark DOS* dyebath to a ripe, dark cherry color. This coming week I will be venturing into producing my own extract from Madder roots. Tomorrow is a spinning group day but I will have the results from my experiment with recycling the used Sticklac. I am quite pleased. I got a double burner stove top to add to my single burner and it works quite nicely. Just need one more pot to replace on of my cheaper ones that I suspect of leaching minerals and a couple more thermometers and I will be able to crank out the dyes. It will be a lot faster to do three at a time rather than one at a time.
For those of you who have used natural dyes, What natural dye is your favorite and why? -Renee

*see glossary

1 comment:

dana said...

Woohoo!! Gorgeous reds from bugs and roots. Its hard to beat madder when it goes red, but I also really like lac. Unfortunately, it is not so lightfast on cotton. I still use it on linen, though, and particularly like it modified with a little fustic. You can get pinks that are good enough to eat.