July 28, 2009

The Wooly Wonders Fiber Arts Guild had a very special workshop on July 25th. We spent the day at the home of Dave and Patty Bell where we experimented with natural dyes.

There was a wonderful turn out and we even met some new friends. WW dye day 7-09 c

We learned how many common plants that grow in our area can be used to dye wool and other animal fibers.  The plants are chopped up and cooked for about a half hour.

WW dye day 7-09 j

WW dye day 7-09 f

WW dye day 7-09 l

The plant material is then strained out and the dye is put back into the pot. At this point the yarn or fiber is added and then simmered for about 25 minutes.

Along with some locally found materials we were treated to some “exotics.”

Dave shared some woad that he had grown from seed. This plant can be used to make blue dye. But only if you add a “reducer” BEFORE you put your yarn in…ooops! Lesson learned!WW dye day 7-09 e

We also had some cochineal beetles. Using only a couple tablespoons of these tiny bugs turned the water bright red!

WW dye day 7-09 h

By the end of the day we had a rainbow of colors on the racks!

WW dye day 7-09 t

I think that we all went home with a new appreciation for hand dyed yarn!


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