Search results for 'acorn'

Overdyeing acorn & oak galls with woad on the side!

7 Mar

Test drive today for my shoulder with my husband’s help! I got on his calendar!

Acorn and oak gall to be over-dyed with my Parmotrema Austrosinense lichen. Purple over yellow tones, I’m thinking a brown. Hopefully a nice neutral brown to brighten other colors. We’ll see. There is always the iron afterbath to take it darker.

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In the meantime as my hero is learning how to turn wool skeins in the dye pot I am harvesting 2nd year woad to over-dye some last year woad blue that I want a shade darker.

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2014 Agarita article I just found – guess who is mentioned?

5 Sep

2014 Texa Parks & Wildlife agarita article I just found – guess who is mentioned?  The root gives the best color when it is chopped or ground.  Lots of elbow grease, to get the root out of the ground and chop it!  Click here for the web article from Texas Parks and Wildlife!

PDF copy is here…. Flora Fact: Agarita|April 2014| TPW magazine  same as above

Photo below is various oak leaves, oak bark, acorns, persimmon and agarita.  Agarita is on the far right!

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My old blog post on agarita is here  and the photos are here  Sigh, sooner or later I WILL consolidate the two blogs!

Prepping tannins for cotton

5 Nov

Because I can…I have local oak galls, acorns and walnuts (imported from the wilds of West Chester, PA) to choose from to use for tannins for cotton dye prep.  Here they are in their form of waiting in the wings till needed.

Oak Galls collected here in Blanco county   

Walnuts in their slimy & stinky form after a year soaking with the newer walnuts carried here by Marge from West Chester, Pa.

 And the ancient acorns from about two years ago…..whose mold I will not inflict upon anyone but myself!

 
Testing between the walnut and the oak galls I get a dark tone & a yellow tone.

The walnut pushes brown…duh   

And the oak galls push yellow red.

Oak galls are the recommendation by several authors. I will use them in conjuction with alum acetate and a chalk dunging. I believe with dilution the cotton will shift to a beige color. 

Since different skeins will be overdyed with madder, persimmon and indigo I am not concerned about the mordant undertone. The tannin’s impact will be minimal on the final colors. The goal is to get the tannin in play on the fibers so they play nice with the alum acetate, the dunging and the final dye baths.

 

Dyers’ Fall Chores

24 Oct

In Texas we have finally gotten back to sane fall temps of 80 degrees. The garden is settling down and going to seed. We have some heavy rains forecasted so I harvested some indigo seed, gathered oak galls & acorns and took advantage of delayed rains to scour some wool for a November natural dye class.

The Japanese Indigo yielded its small flea like seeds. When the winter winds blow in I’ll winnow the chaff out.  The Indigo Suffruticosa is still teaching me how to harvest it. The bean like seeds ripen to brown black and split open.   When you pull a seed bunch a branchlet usually comes with it. Determined not to waste an opportunity I’ve put these branchlets plus some wind trimming into a white bucket and put it aside to see if my indigo makes a natural appearance. Look at this after just one day!So I plan to use the yeast recipe for woad in Jenny Dean’s newest book, A Heritage of Colour. Stay tuned for those results.

And the acorns and oak galls are making an appearance so I gathered some up to put aside to pull for tannin.  “Some” is the key word as the squirrels and deer have been very busy dining on fallen acorns.  And finally I am prepping some beautiful wool, silk and cotton for a November workshop I am giving. Scouring the Australian wool was today and winds permitting I will mordant tomorrow. Here’s my source link.

 

Fall Drought

3 Oct

There is good news & bad new….

The indigos are going to seed in the irrigated garden, more indigo for next year….

  
 My yarns from Georgia Yarn Company are here to prep for my November guild natural dye class.  Silk, wool & cotton! http://www.handweaver.us/georgia_yarn_company.htm
 
I must be the only weaver to buy white wool from Southwest Weaving

 

Look at all her colors!

http://www.weavingsouthwest.com/shop/view_cat/76 

We’ve cut over to well water as our cistern is down significantly. We usually just need a brief rain to refill but there had been none since the May floods.  Walking around you can see the summer drought impact on our land.

Minimum acorn crop this year, last year one could see an abundance, this year only singles on the branches.  

And you can see the lack of moisture around the trees… Only .42 of rain since early June…

   
So…we are hopeful the El Nino will bring some rains in November and repenish the ground AND our cistern!

Madder Solar Run #1 Recap

21 May

For a first run at madder solar color things were not bad….I got the orange and reddish oranges but no deep red.  But the good news is there is more madder to experiment with.  Let me be clear, I am very happy with the range I got from my skeins in the first round.  There was a disappointment.  Although I had flame tested a fiber, it tricked me into thinking it was silk.  I used this yarn in the first pull of color expecting glorious deep color, the wet skeins promised it.  The earlier madder harvest & prep journey is posted here.

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But after rinsing and drying the color was much paler than expected.  Both the 3 year and 6 year first solar dye pull yielded exactly the same pale color.  Beautiful, but not what the pot promised.

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I think the substrate I thought was silk was really rayon.  Why?  Remember that I had set aside the first soak/rinse water that had the tannins from the bark in it?  Frugal dyer that I am, I had the same substrate skein set aside that was a Hopi Sunflower color fail.  In other words, the seeds were so old, my dye skein appeared a faint beige.  So it begged to be over dyed.  What better candidate for over dyeing?  Below left is what tannin yielded.  It is the left hand skein in the photo below….deeper and more vibrant color.  The rayon (cellulose fiber) used the tannin in the roots and the seeds as a mordant that allowed it to grab more color.  Sigh, I am going to set aside all the prepped skeins that I MORDANTED with alum sulfate and redo them with alum acetate in order to get the color to strike the rayon.  OR alternatively, I can just hold on to these skeins and use them for indigo and persimmon dips, those substative dyes know no substrate boundaries.

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Well, the dye pot still had exhaust in it and I still had the roots at hand.  So I combined the roots and simmered them again on a heat source (skipping the solar part) and put in some KNOWN wool to see what color would yield.  The wool gave hope that color was still available for use and that future pots promised a better future.  The tiny skein below the wool was a sample skein that I mordanted again to check I had not perhaps forgotten to mordant the skeins.  It rode alongside the wool in the depot.  Nope, color still would not strike.  Rayon, Deb, accept it!

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Since I had two healthy exhaust pots left after this run I looked around for some likely candidates for over dyeing since my prepped silk skeins were impostors.  I had some small silk skeins of different dyestuff that begged to be over dyed.

If I were a perfect dyer photographer the labels would read clearly.  But in summary I over dyed a series of tannin based beiges.  Sorry,  in no particular order these skeins were Lichen pulled with DNA, Water soaked oak gall, Lichen pulled with soda ash, green persimmon, lichen extracted with ammonia, Oak bark in water soak, and acorn exhaust.  All of these combined will make a great drall scarf.  I have plenty of color choices to combine.

So, in summary, the color extracted beautifully from the roots in the solar dye.  The next round will be a heat pull to compare the 3 and 6 year roots.  At this point the colors I got between the 3 year and 6 year madder root were not that different but because of the substrate snafu, I am holding judgement until I complete another color run.

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Cochineal web starting to appear!

2 Oct

Harley & I are making the unscientific observation that when the Lindheiemer Senna go to seed, the acorns start dropping and the cactus tunas fade, the cochineal white webs start to appear on the cactus pads. Let the cochineal scraping commence!
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Tannins on Wool

8 Sep

So, in the meantime I’ve been soaking some tannin material for use on my rug wool. Some of these have been soaking since last year. We had a great crop of acorns a year ago. Those have been fermenting away.

I’ve collected many oak galls during my lichen gathering over the past two years. Those have been soaking in 8 oz jars, it’s all about the pickle jars and how much they can hold!

We lost an oak to the drought and the woodpeckers & raccoons thoughtfully stripped the bark for me.

Friends north of here, both in Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania have gifted med with various species of walnuts.

All of these colors were done with a minimum of dyestuff to see what I could get with a minimum of effort. Really, I am lazy! All are mordanted with alum sulfate at 12% wof, rinsed and cured for about a month before dyeing

My favorite color is the oak gall. I am prepping for a much larger dye run in the next batch. It will make a beautiful neutral with the lichen rose & garnet tones. I am starting to visualize a rug series based on a water motif using the colors from my valley.

It is tough to capture the different tannin tones. In summary, I would describe them as acorn-golden tones, oak bark-silver brown, oak gall-rose brown, and walnut-light brown.

Walnut will get redipped to push darker and I think the others will get an iron modifier to see how dark they go.

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Part 3 Texas Madder Root

4 Aug

Let’s revisit the madder root.  The photo above shows the nice dark tomato red I got from the large madder roots.  The left two are from the big roots, the right two are from the smaller roots.  I can see why one should be patient and let the madder root grow for at least 3 years.  This crop was right at 3 years old.  I dug a 4 foot by 4 foot area and separated the roots.  I still have some madder exhaust on hand to use with some wool.

A nice contrast color for the persimmon, oak, acorn and weld yellows and browns.  Almost time to weave…..

Colors from my valley – Parmotrema Austrosinese

31 Dec

Also known as unwhiskered ruffle lichen, here are some color ranges on silk I’ve gotten from my lichen by combining it with acorns, Japanese Indigo, iron, soda ash and ammonia.  Of course not at once!  There is quite a color range available.  I still have walnut and agarita to explore with lichen in color combinations.  Next up, lightfast tests….and more dyeing….what colors can I find in my valley!

Always collect ONLY windfall lichen.  Our Texas winds kick up every once in awhile here in HIll Country and when we have a heavy dew morning I have plenty on the ground to harvest!

In a later post I’ll detail how the colors were combined, but I couldn’t resist sharing since the skeins had dried and were so pretty!  The yarn was sourced from Habu and from Georgia Yarn Company.  They all held up well in the dyepot.

 

Unwhiskered ruffle lichen

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