Saturday, September 25, 2010

Indigo Results . . . and questions

I've had "wash indigo samples" on my to-do list since the workshop a couple of weekends ago. One of the goals of the day was to experience how different types of fibre took the dye. This was complicated by various events of the day, with our vat being more effective in the afternoon than it was in the morning. Nevertheless there are some obvious trends:

Cellulose fibres gave the best results. Silk was pretty good. Most of the wool samples took the dye rather weakly. The exception was my 70% wool-30% cotton skein, which was a real winner. As a quilter and silk-lover I'm happy to acknowledge the positives. As a spinner and wool-lover I want more! I've emailed R, who leads the Natural Dyeing group at the Guild, with some questions. One of my Indigo books suggests a different recipe for wool. That's not surprising given the different fibre structure, but how can the vat satisfy the needs of the dye for a higher pH environment as well as the wool's desire for a lower pH. . . ? I guess I've got a lot of learning to do. That's just fine by me. Meanwhile, I can tick another task off my list and decide what to do with this bunch of samples. You can see from the pic that I've carefully labelled each one, so one option is to paste them all up nicely and add them to my folio. On the other hand, I could just play with the variety.

Now I'm going to leave them hanging in the bathroom and head off to brunch with my weaving buddies. One of the weavers is off to London with a one-way ticket, so we're gathering to wish her well on her way. My contribution to the meal is a batch of orange and date pikelets, courtesy of my friend L's recipe, so there will be sampling of a different sort in the next few hours.

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