Monday, November 15, 2010

naturally dyed playsilks and a woolly gnome

naturally dyed playsilks
i've been wanting to make my own naturally dyed playsilks for a long while, and i finally seized the moment this weekend! marc helped me too, and he took these play silk photos. i used alum as a mordant and weighed the five playsilks i bought, plus some felted wool balls for another project. it was around 8 oz., so i used 2 oz. of alum (i read here to use a 25% ratio). after dissolving in hot water, i put my materials in the pot and left it to soak overnight. for the dyes, marc helped, and we didn't keep track of measurements. the dyestuffs simmered for probably around half an hour each, and then the silks soaked in the pots for a long while too. from left to right in the above photo are: beet (homegrown), onion skins (collected from many months of eating), marigold (homegrown), turmeric (purchased), and oregon grape berry (harvested this summer and frozen). i put them in these jars of vinegar to soak overnight.
naturally dyed playsilks on the line
i just love how they turned out! left to right: oregon grape berries, beet, onion skins, turmeric, and marigold. i am very excited to get our indigo pot going again and try some overdying for blue + yellow = green combinations! (it's probably not a huge deal, but indigo isn't really suited to pregnancy, and since our pot fizzled, we're just waiting til later to get one going again.)
woolly finger puppet gnome
so, what became of those felted balls you ask? a light dip in the beet dye juices, and some recycled sweater adornment, plus a little beard. this little guy is a finger puppet...
standing woolly gnome
and he can stand on his own too! more of these to come! our handmade holidays are underway! what are you working on?

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