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Natural Dyeing, Winter – Sumac

color dyeing Fiber Fiber Art handcrafting handdye natural Natural Dye naturaldye Sheep Sumac Uncategorized Wool Yarn

My first choice of color for our yarn is it’s natural color.  I love the idea of tracing back who is who in the flock to the mittens, hats or sweaters we wear.  Oh, these mittens are from Milverton’s fleece, or this blanket was from Annie & David & Morris, and here is a sweater from Ruva, and so on.

My second choice is probably indigo, but I love almost all of the colors.  My favorite colors are the result of  when we overdye yarn that is browner or grayer.  Usually the colors are deeper and richer.  The strength of the dyepot is also a large contributor to that depth.

I’m so eager for harvesting lichens and mushrooms, flowers and leaves for the spring dyepots.  I’m rushing the season a bit by harvesting last fall’s Sumac seedheads that were mostly intact on the bushes out behind the chicken coops.  There were all of those beautiful deep maroon colored flowers that made it through winter, ready for the plucking.

Without mordanting any of the fiber, just wetting it, the color is “light rusty” upon drying.  It’s very pretty.  I’m going to give another batch a bit of mordant, maybe alum, and see what happens.  Meanwhile, enjoy the pics of this week’s folly:

Sumac growing in back woods
Sumac growing in back woods
Sumac berry preparation
Sumac berry preparation
Sumac picked off twigs and ready for dye pot
Sumac picked off twigs and ready for dye pot
In the dye pot
In the dye pot
simmering the Sumac
simmering the Sumac
adding 100% wool yarn to dyepot
adding 100% wool yarn to dyepot
sumac dyed wool
sumac dyed wool

 

Sumac dyed yarn next to undyed yarn
Sumac dyed yarn next to undyed yarn

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