Yarn testing

You may have seen this before and wonder what kind of skimpy scarf that’s supposed to be? Plant dyed yarn samples 1-110 crocheted into a long strip and washed in the machine with laundry detergent testing for colour changes.

garn4 Well, it’s all cut up now and properly catalogued with my other yarn samples. Finally. And I’m going to need another binder…

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In the future I’ll probably do some of my samples on cloth to save time and make the pages flatter, but this is it for now. There are places waiting for the samples that are being tested in indirect daylight for a period of time, probably until spring. I hope it’ll all help me remember how much I’ve done of which, when etc. The ones in the window got about 1 month in mid summer facing south.

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The idea is to not use the fugitive dyes at all or at least not for permanent fixtures like a tapestry or clothing that gets more than occasional wear. It’s fun to try everything once, but in the long run it’s just stressful if you feel you “have to”. In fact I still feel I’m pretty much over my infatuation with the whole thing!

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Jeg har endelig fået lavet mit lille garnkatalog over plantefarvet garn. Der er allerede 2 fulde ringbind, så jeg får brug for et tredje til fremtidige eksperimenter.

Der er strimler af det originale garn, strimler som har siddet en sommermåned i et sydvindue og så har jeg pt. strimler som skal sidde mindst et halvt år inde i rummet og derefter tilføjes mappen.

Desuden blev der hæklet en strimmel med de første 100 nr. og vasket med alm. vaskepulver for at checke farveforandringer – der var et par overraskelser, nogen skiftede farve, nogen falmer, nogen er ens. Det kan jo være rart at vide alt efter hvad man bruger garnet til.

Har du lyst til at deltage i min brugerundersøgelse fra i går?

16 thoughts on “Yarn testing

  1. wow, I am in awe of your system that looks so neat and organised! I keep notes too, but my presentation is pretty haphazard compared to yours that looks so professional!

    I agree there’s no point in dyes that are very fugitive. It all takes time and effort and you don’t want to knit, let alone weave, with beautiful colours that will then evaporate. I did some light fastness testing this summer, and my samples were on a south facing window (a kind of “worst case scenario”), and I was amazed at how much many of them had faded just after a month or two. It’s definitely worth the effort to do all this testing just to get a realistic idea of what you can expect. Will you be writing about the testing results in more detail? I’d love to hear about which ones did particularly well and which ones did really badly.

    1. I’ll definitely make a compilation of results at some point! But it’s a piece of work in itself, and I want to get the samples from indirect light done as well as some other tests. Or it could possibly become a page that is updated along the way, rather than a blog post.

      I’ll be happy to share preliminary results if anyone is wondering about a specific plant. (btw I wouldn’t leave that lovely basil scarf of yours outside)

      My biggest surprise so far has been the coreopsis tinctoria. It’s not very lightfast at all – so bad I won’t be growing it again! I thought you couldn’t go wrong with the tinctorias, well…

      1. I don’t do dyeing myself, but your research is a very interesting reading!
        I was amazed at all the colours you managed to create with your experiments with natural dyes. Great job, though I understand it must be a weary undertaking 🙂

        1. I did so many plants this summer, I got a bit fed up, didn’t do many other things at all. So now I need to look at my other hobbies. I’ll be hitting the 300th sample this year once I do my planned projects, and that’s just the one I’ve registered….

      2. Oh I’m so disappointed to hear about the coreopsis, it seemed such a perfect dye plant, looking nice in the garden and giving lots of interesting colours! I suppose there had to be a catch….

        I realise presenting the results is a huge undertaking. It is just that this is the kind of useful information you don’t often come across in blogs (precisely because it is so much boring admin type effort)

        1. I have some ideas to various schematics and aspects that I haven’t seen much in books. I may get to work on it, but probably have to scour all that is already out there, several new dye books have come out lately that I haven’t seen, would be useless to just “copy” someone else or be accused of.

  2. Det var dog et fantastisk arbejde. Det fortjener næsten en hel bog, ikke “bare” en side på din blog. Det er sådan noget vi alle kan lære af, så vi kun leger med flygtige farver, og ved de er flygtige. Det SKAL du bare udgive.
    og at du er ved at tabe fascinationene ved plantefarvning, det lyder som om du har någet til fælles med mig – og Peter Schindler tjek hans digt Halvt (eller lignende – kan naturligvis ikke finde bogen), hvis du falder over hans digte på biblioteket – nemlig at det er herligt, kildrende og frydefuldt at begynde på noget nyt, men når så man kan, tja så taber man langsomt interessen …

    1. Jeg HAR faktisk overvejet en lille e-bog. Men jeg synes lige jeg skal arbejde lidt mere med det. Diverse ideer og indfaldsvinkler bliver dog noteret!

  3. Thank you for all the posts you have put up on natural dyeing. Most of the plants you’ve used, I hadn’t even heard of, so you’ve inspired me to buy some seeds and plant them to use for dyeing. 🙂

  4. I thought I had tired of dyeing some years ago, but the passion returned. And now I take the approach that, although it makes sense to avoid dye stuffs that I know to be fugitive, anything that fades can just be over dyed. It’s been liberating 🙂

    1. It’s true with the overdyeing – but as I’d thought to use the plant dyed yarns for tapestries, it doesn’t apply so well for the ones I already have. I mean, overdyeing a tapestry would make it almost uniform in colour, or at the very least, unpredictable!

      I’m sure I’ll get back to it eventually. 🙂

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