Thursday, September 4, 2014

Natural Dye Series - Part 3, Tea & Mint

Tea isn't anything new or different, most people know it dyes with a nice 'antiqued' look.  My husband and I drink a lot of tea so over a few weeks, I collected all of our used tea bags in a large ziploc bag.  I kept this in the fridge since I was afraid of mold.  There was over 50 tea bags ranging from Green Tea to Earl Grey to English Breakfast (all Twinings if you are interested).  

Here is how the dye took on the skein.  Kind of bland and boring if you ask me.

In addition to the yarn I dyed a plain white skirt that has been lurking in my closet for years.

As I mentioned above, I thought everything was bland and boring so I decided to give each a dunk in an Iron Post-Mordant.  My Iron Mordant is some old metal stuff the kids found in the yard while they were digging.  I put this in an old jar with some vinegar and water.  It sat for weeks until it was a murky orangey color.  I added about 1/2 cup of this into some water for the Post-Mordant. 

Each went in for a few minutes....probably 10-20 in total.

I only placed the part of the skein that was originally dyed with tea, not the whole skein.  The remainder of this skein was dyed with some mint (see below).

It darkened the skirt at is linen.

And the wool a lot.

Next, I put some fresh mint from my garden into the pot for the other half of the skein.

Here is the yarn in the dye pot with the mint tea.

It is a nice golden yellow, but I wondered what it would look like with an Iron Post-Mordant.

So in it went.  I only did half of the half dyed with mint.  I held it in the Iron bath for a few minutes checking it ever once in a while until it was a darker color.

and the final result

and what I've been knitting with the yarn...Splitbark Mitts by Stephen West

Now I figured, since this is technically a soap are a few snaps of soap where I used mint or tea as a natural dye.

Next up in the Natural Dye Series is Black Eyed Susans and Coreopsis (Verticillata to be specific) and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your interests) this next series is only involving soap. 

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