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Degumming silk

3 Jul

This morning is dedicated to degumming silk. It is a pleasant morning to listen to the kettle sing and watch the cat in his dream of catching hummingbirds.

I did a cold test of Habu’s Kinari N-63B, explained here:
http://www.habutextiles.com/N-64-KINARI

in oak gall, persimmon and two lichens before I degummed or mordanted the silk. The silk literally sucked in the dye without any treatment. Hmmmmm, something to consider in the future.

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After degumming the silk will make its way thru the mordant prep and finally the dye pot! Two skeins will make their way thru the cold process of persimmon dips and sun darkening. The second two will go thru the high alkaline lichen pot. We’ll see how it holds up. I have confidence it will!

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Later this afternoon my weld flowers have simmered and are waiting for a wool dip. We’ll see if I simmered enough for 8 ounces of wool!

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Picking & Straining

29 Jun

So before temps soar above 100 today I picked & prepped some more dyestuff. The Diospyros Texana Persimmon branches are heavy with the green fruit and is ready to pick.

An item of interest, in the four years I’ve been watching the persimmon bushes I’ve never seen a heavier or thicker crop on the branches. I don’t know if this is the effect of more rain earlier this year compared to the 2009 & 2011 drought years. We’ll see soon how the color comes in on the silk.

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In addition I strained some of my Parmotrema Austrosinense Lichen which has been soaking in a high ph bath of ammonia and water.

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The lichens gathered in Dec 12 are on the left and the lichens gathered in early fall 2012 are on the right. My paper towel test gives me a decent indication as to what color to expect a dye bath to yield. Do you think it is the 3 month soak difference or the time of year gathered?

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Time to wash the dishes & head inside to cool off!

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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