Well, prepping madder root for cold soak is sorta a misnomer in 80 degree Texas spring weather. But I’ll stick with a Tx cold soak.
I took 100 grams (3.5oz) each of my 3 year large root & 3 year small root madder vintages and soaked them in 4 cups of water in the sun yesterday and overnight. Result was softened roots with the dirt and skin loosened.
I strained off the first 4 cups of water, set it aside and cut the larger roots with scissors so they would not jam my blender. Then into the blender with 4 more cups of water.
The first blend water was poured off again and reserved with the overnight soak water. You could see the dirt and skin that had loosened.
Into the blender one more time on high and the roots were pulverized for more soaking. Pouring off the soak water and the first blend water will, I hope, keep the brown accents out of my red.
The madder slurry was poured back into the holding jar with its water and set out to sun simmer again for a couple of sun days until I am ready to add my silk.
Now, you can bet after this effort that I cringed when I lost some of my dye stock on the floor by pouring too fast. Grrr, breath and go slow, the madder has already taken 6 years to grow. What is my hurry?
I repeated the process with another batch of my 3 year small root vintage and reserved the wash water again.
So now, the 3 &year small and large roots are solar heating for age color comparisons. The wash pull is waiting for me to do something with it. Hmmmm, pull pigment or dye silk, choices exist.
note: edited 3/20 to reflect batches processed were 3 year large root and small root…100 Grams each!