Lake pigments continued

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Now that I have a small first collection of pigments to play with before new plants can be tested next summer (I do have some old dried things I can try too), there are multiple ways to use them. They need some kind of binder, although I suppose you could just soak them in water. Alcohol? But even watercolours have binders added to add intensity to the colour as well as make it stick to your paper.

You can use oil, egg, honey*, gum, shellac, wax, milk, spit! or buy readymade binders for a variety of mediums. Even an acrylic binder which I may just have to test, although I’m leaning towards wax and shellac since I plan on working with that anyway.

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No mordant?

Alum mordanted yarn hung out to dry, after making a rediscovery in my own stash. There might be some plant dyeing happening around here after all! I was inspired to begin with these. A plant that I’ve tried to get rid of in my horse paddocks, but I’m sure I can find some still. Result report guaranteed  if and when!

I often come upon blogs about plant dyeing, usually beginning dyers, mentioning how they mordant their yarns with vinegar or salt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rallying against beginners, like myself!, posting about their passions and experiences. But this being a pet peeve of mine, I’m going to mention it again: Those are NOT “mordants”.

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The yarn that wouldn’t

As I mentioned in passing yesterday, I had some non-results with dried walnut on one of my overdye projects. I can’t remember what came first, I think possibly alum and St. John’s Wort solar dye method (= mucky fawn).

Then I tried dried walnut shells, bought in a store, not collected, regrettably. (=beige) Ammonia: no change. Yes, it really lost colour compared to the original.

Another option would be mixing my used dye jars of hollyhock, cochineal and safflower on the odd chance they were not exhausted from the other hanks I showed yesterday. (=this added a slight greyish tint to the beige)

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All that weld

…and nothing to do with it. That’s what I’ve been thinking every time I pass by my second year weld, lush, tall and proud. Because as I mentioned in the fennel post A. I don’t have a new dye yarn supply, B. I don’t really want to keep dyeing samples with cheap yarn, C. I don’t have any projects planned that require a large quantity of yellow yarn, and D. I just haven’t felt like it anyway. Which is a shame, because it is one of the plants I want to keep using in the more limited range that I’ve set out to use in the future (rather than try all the things).

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