Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 7 of 300 Days of Dyeing And FAF

Yes, it happened.  I set a goal. I made a commitment.  I announced it to the world.

And then Life happened.  I got sick.  My mother got sick. My mother-in-law got sick.  There was a race to photograph. There was a Fiber Fest to prepare for (and then cancel-see above.) And right now, I don't even remember what else.  But dyeing has been put on hold - temporarily.  I'm planning to back in full swing soon.  In the meantime, I'm taking it slow and easy and one day at a time.

Today I am dyeing with onion skins.  I don't do this very often,  but it is one of the few 'natural' dyes I use. (I put 'natural' in semi-quotes because most dyes are natural, they are just prepared for us rather than us having to go out to collect the ingredients and prepare them for use. Someone else does that for us and packages them in an easy to use form.)

Dyeing with onion skins is pretty simple.  Collect the skins from yellow onions.  I have about four of the little net bags they come in from the grocery store crammed full of skins.  I have no idea how many onions it took to get them.  And I didn't weigh them.  This is a very non-scientific method.  I boiled the onions in my pot with a strainer insert. After the onion skins boiled a few minutes (a while, again I didn't time anything) and the water had turned a rich red (and smelled delicious like onion soup!), I removed the insert with the bags of onion skins.  I then added my prepared wool.  I generally soak my wool in a little detergent before dyeing.

There are discussions and misconceptions about mordants. My personal experience is that mordants are required to make onion skins permanent.  I generally add a little vinegar (acid) to the pot out of habit, but it's not required.  Time in the post seems to be a bigger factor.  My results have been both light fast and wash fast (though you should always take care when washing and storing hand dyed fibers of any kind). Adding other mordants may change the resulting colors a bit, but aren't necessary.

My wool is in the pot now.  If I remember, I will take photos and add them to this post later. In the meantime, here are a couple of  photos of previously dyed wool.

ETA: It's Fiber Arts Friday! Check out WonderWhyGal's FAF links and feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments here.  There's enough fiber in the world to share the Fiber Arts Friday love!

No comments:

Post a Comment