Walnut hulls on linen and silk fabric and wool yarn (no mordant), Below left: Frozen walnut hulls Below right: Dried walnut hulls. They do have a sheltered, fairly sunny spot in my garden and their border is raised a couple of inches out of the wet clay with plenty of sheep manure dug in. If you refuse cookies we will remove all set cookies in our domain. Left from top: 30% symplocos first mordant bath on cotton, silk, wool, Right from top: re-simmered leaves + exhaust mordant bath on cotton, silk, wool, Centre below : no mordant, 10% alum mordant. In the vat method the Japanese indigo leaves are torn or cut up into small pieces, covered with cool to warm water and brought to simmering point over a period of about 1 to 2 hours. This led me to wonder whether symplocos would still work if used at a lower percentage, so I decided to use 30% instead of 50%. I then added the wool to the cooled mordant solution and slowly raised the temperature to simmering point (95C) over a period of one hour. When the dye bath was getting cool, heat was again applied until a simmer was reached. I have been looking at various recipes for the 1-2-3 lime/fructose indigo vat, which was developed by Michel Garcia, and I made one interesting observation – in most of the recipes, the fructose (which is the reducing agent) is added before the lime (calcium hydroxide), which is the alkali. You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. At this point I saved the used leaves and re-simmered them, so that I could add this solution to the exhaust mordant bath after my tests and then use this on a further batch of fibres. I then removed the leaves from the freezer and squeezed the bag to crush them before removing them from the bag. The only difference from the usual method was that we added the wetted fibres and the bark to the dye pot at the same time, rather than simmering the barks first to extract the colour. Blues from Saxon Blue may be less fast to light and washing than indigo blues made by the vat method and deep blues from Saxon Blue have higher levels of fastness than paler shades. Virginia. For cassava flour and starch, the paste was prepared with hot boiling water but not on fire. I then strained off the liquid and allowed it to cool to 40C as directed. Then add the vinegar and knead the leaves very well for at least 5 minutes until the liquid is bright green. I used rainwater because the recipe stipulated “soft water” and I live in a hard water area. The process was discovered around 1740. The vats each took about 1 hour to be ready for use. The fibres were added and simmered in the solution for about an hour, then left to cool for a while. NOTE: Although this recipe is specifically for wool, it was used on this occasion to dye all four fibre types. Bark dye samples in the modifier pots (Photo by Fiona Eastwood), Birch bark samples – Left to right: no modifier, +acid, +alkali, +copper, +iron Fabrics from top: linen, cotton, silk + some modifiers (no mordant) Below: alum mordant (Photo by Zuzana Krskova), Cherry bark samples – As above but without the sample +alkali (Photo by Zuzana Krskova), Elm bark samples – Details as above for birch bark (Photo by Zuzana Krskova), Alder bark and twigs +iron (Photo by Zuzana Krskova), Oak galls +iron (Photo by Zuzana Krskova). (See earlier posts for Symplocos mordanting details.). However, as noted by Ethel Mairet, indigo extract is less suitable for cotton and linen and these fibres did not take up much blue dye. They were allowed to cool, then rinsed and washed. (And also adding the ingredients in the same order as with other types of indigo vat.). The photos show the gradual progress of each vat and the final test samples. One thing to bear in mind is that Symplocos leaves also yield a yellow dye, so the yellow colour of the mordanted fibres may have an effect on the colours achieved from the dye pot. To prepare the symplocos mordant solution for all fibres, I simmered 30% symplocos leaves in water for about 45 minutes then strained the solution through a piece of very fine muslin cloth. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t. The important thing is to make sure the fibres don’t have any grease or dirt adhering to them.) Strain liquid then add fabric. So why should I be surprised to find so many recipes in which the reducing agent is added before the alkali? This is not something I tend to do and my woad vats are always fine but they might be even better if I remembered to cool them down quickly. I will also try removing the fibres as soon as they have become a reasonable blue, rather than leaving them in the dye bath for a longer period, as it seems possible that prolonged soaking caused the blue colour to become greyer in tone. When dyeing black using the tannin/iron complex the fibres must be alternately dyed then aired, in order for the depth of colour to develop. We used both dried weld and fresh weld for comparison purposes. Symplocos leaves can be used on all fibres; so far I have only used them on wool and I am pleased with the results. The frozen and dried walnuts became dark brown and the fresh walnuts also appeared dark brown when I put them in the dye bath. For the tannin mordant we used oak galls and we tried two methods of creating black with ferrous sulphate and tannin from plants. Exposure to the air is an important part of the process. Leave to cool and soak for a further 12 to 24 hours, simmer again for about 30 minutes then strain off the dye solution and add the fibres. However, I was able to harvest only a few leaves for this experiment, so I intend to try it again next year earlier in the growing season and see whether a higher percentage of younger leaves gives different results. Otherwise you will be prompted again when opening a new browser window or new a tab. Samples of wool and silk were dyed following the instructions on p 103 Recipe no. The other reason why changing the usual order seems to me illogical lies in the name “1-2-3” vat, which seems to me to suggest that one would first add to the water one part indigo, then secondly one would add two parts lime (calcium hydroxide), the alkali, and thirdly three parts fructose, the reducing agent, thus maintaining the neat 1-2-3 order of both the proportions of ingredients and the order of adding them. Repeat this process and add the strained-off liquid to the first liquid. Then add the fibres, bring the dye liquid up to simmering point and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes. The colour from weld was extracted in the usual way, simmering it for about 30 minutes. My interpretation follows. We followed the usual methods and prepared fibres with aluminium sulphate for wool and silk and aluminium acetate for cotton and linen. Click to enable/disable essential site cookies. This is traditionally used as a resist in Nigerian Adire  indigo dyeing.

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