Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Ooh it's getting cold and rainy 'round these parts. This morning I couldn't quite shake a chill and toyed with the idea of starting a fire in the wood stove. I didn't, but I can see that the season's first fire is not long off. How's the season treating you where you are I wonder?
Yesterday I spent the morning visiting a friend in the hospital and got home just in time to put on a dye pot. It was an easy dye as I was using the water from soaking black beans, this dye pot does not need heat so it's a bit less intensive. However, I was dyeing The Cascade Dress from my last post and it was rather a lot more fabric than I have dyed at any one time. I learned that I am going to need one of those super duper giant enamel canning pots if I intend to dye whole dresses on the regular.
I also threw in a few vintage lace and doily bits. Before I sunk my dress into the murky depths of the black bean dye pot, I did a few experiments with modifiers. On it's own, black bean water can produce purple, purplish grays, blues, and the like. Adding an iron modifier creates a really lovely blue gray, more sombre in tone, or if left to soak for a longer time, it would produce a dark gray. Vinegar, depending on the length of soak, can produce a light fuchsia pink or a brighter purple. Using soda ash as a modifier will create a really pretty vintage cream color. I am sure the variations would continue using other modifiers such as copper, etc, but I'll have to experiment with that at another time.
In the picture above you'll see some of the variations from the black bean dye pots and some from an earlier dye day using Madder. I love looking at the pieces, especially the vintage bits. I continue to be enthralled with the process of natural dyeing and all of the variations that can happen. It is an ancient process and as with many old ways, it takes time. It's slow color, always changing.
As the seasons change and fresh dyeing ingredients are less available, I'll learn to adapt and work with what is at hand. Not to mention that with the cold moving in, those steaming dye pots will be far more welcome than in the heat of Summer. I started my natural dyeing journey earlier this year, and I can see that there is such a very long way to go yet to learn all the things I desire to. I'm ok with that, in fact, I look forward to many years of learning and travelling along this journey.