Kim's Blog

Cochineal & Lilac Leaves

One of my goals when immersion dyeing, whether it be with synthetic dyes or nature dyes, is a level dye run.  This means the colour is even throughout the length of yarn.  A second goal is a well exhausted dye bath; most of the dye is taken up by the yarn, with hardly any dye remaining in the liquid.

Colour modulations of cochineal at 2% WOF.

Colour modulations of cochineal at 2% WOF.

To achieve a level dye run and a well exhausted nature dye bath:

  • Strain the liquid from the solids after extracting colour from your dye materials.  Use the strained liquid for your dye stock.
  • Bring the dye bath up to temperature slowly.  This allows pigments the necessary time to bond with the mordants.
  • Gently stir the dye bath every 10 – 15 minutes, both during the processing and cool down phases.

 

Colour modulations of lilac leaves at 300% WOF.

Colour modulations of lilac leaves at 300% WOF.

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