Dyeing with extracts

I took a workshop with Susanne Grosjean again this year. This time focusing on extracts. I learned a lot and came home with a sample card of 25 dyed yarns and a selection of dyed fabrics that I’d brought with me. And one skein of cashmere yarn, now mordanted.

Colors from left to right:

  1. Tan. Cottons dyed with quebracho (green). A “weak” dye and the source of the color khaki.
  2. Yellow. A linen square dyed in turmeric that inexplicably developed a rash of dark red spots. I had laid it out to dry over an indigo-dyed linen just before it developed the spots but it’s impossible to explain why the cloth picked up that red. For one thing, the indigo cloth was relatively dry and for another, yellow and blue make green not red! The cloth had no red at all for about an hour after removing it from the bath. There’s also another smaller linen square, also turmeric, no spots.
  3. Gold. Three swatches of duppioni silk dyed with a mixture of onion skin and marigolds.
  4. Orange. A length of silky merino dyed with madder and Osage orange liquid.
  5. Green. Duppioni silk, dyed first with some weak pomegranate powder and then with Saxon blue.
  6. Indigo. A linen cloth dyed in the pre-reduced indigo vat.
  7. Light blue. Lengths of silk organza and light raw silk from Dharma Trading dyed with Saxon blue.
  8. Purple. Lac-dyed square linen napkin and square of lace.
  9. Red. Brazilwood-dyed length of smooth raw silk from Dharma.
  10. Gray. I’m not sure how this color happened. It had some indigo for sure, but isn’t really blue. It’s duppioni silk, which I get from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast.

Another view:

Photos from the workshop:

Jaye weighing out a mound of yarn for the mordant bath

The lac bath

Drying rack with dyed fiber

The lovely spring green from the unoxidized indigo

It was an enjoyable workshop with a lot of busy dyers trying their best to coordinate multiple pots and produce public sample skeins as well as personal fibers. I’m really happy with the colors and will try extracts again. I’ll probably use some of these for botanical bundles or maybe plain backgrounds for stitching projects. Lots of fun!

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