wanting to do some quick and easy natural dyeing, i decided to try a technique using extracts from the extract dyeing book, "colours of the rainbow" by helen melvin. the process is quite fun! i had purchased some silk hankies when in asheville, and decided to dye them along with some wool, linen, alpaca, and cotton.
the two colors i used were osage orange and teal (from hue & dye). i presoaked the fiber in a copper mordant to bring out more greens in the colors. i was rather surprised by which fibers picked up which color more; the wool grabbed the most blue, the silk grabbed the most yellow, and the cellulose fibers tended to the paler tones. i was especially pleased by the alpaca.
i pried apart the silk hankies for spinning later (august when i take a silk spinning class), wound the yarns onto bobbins, and twisted the silk organza to get some pleats when it dries.
another experiment i have going is a traditional indigo vat which has been brewing for awhile now. this shibori example is from a piece of duckcloth i want to make into an oilcloth apron; i'm just waiting for some of the smell to air out of it. when i say traditional, what i mean to say is urine and indigo. but i must say, the vat itself smells less odiferous now than it did when i first started it.