Saturday, January 17, 2015

Natural Dye Series, Part 4 -- Black-eyed Susans and Coreopsis Verticillata

No particular reason I grouped Blacked-eyed Susans and Coroepsis together other than I harvested and dyed them on the same day, since they were in full bloom and raging with flowers in Late August.

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

I plucked many blooms straight off of the plant and placed them in a jar with some rubbing alcohol to soak.  I placed this in the sun to warm for a few hours.  It really didn't take that long to extract the color.  I also placed two large handfuls into a pot with water and simmered for about an hour.  I added the extracted color from the alcohol to the simmering water mix and cooked a bit longer. 

Freshly plucked pretty little flowers

Into the alcohol

and into the sun

flowers simmering away on the stove

and both solutions...alcohol added to the mix on the stove

and the two strained...look at that dark color!  What color do you think the yarn will be?

Did you guess green?  Here is the pre-modant (alum + CoT) in the pot on a light simmer

Here is the skein after a full soak on the stove and  a rinse

and after a post iron mordant...a wee bit darker

Coreopsis Verticillata

Most people dye with Coreopsis Tinctoria, but that isn't the variety I have in my garden.  I have verticillata which has a pale solid yellow flower with very wispy delicate greeny.  I absolutely love this plant.  Super easy to grow + I've divided my one plant into a few that I've scattered around my perennial beds.  

So I really didn't know what to expect when I harvested this plant in the fall.  So I dyed some yarn on a whim.  My thought was 'well it is still in the Coreopsis family so maybe I'll get some sort of color.'  The Tinctoria variety has a dark orange center to the flower while verticillata is solid yellow so I was thinking I'd get a green or maybe a yellow.

I placed my cut foliage into the pot and simmered for a few hours.   
I got a murky orange!

In went the pre-mordant yarn (alum + CoT).  Soaked and simmered for about an hour.

The skeins out after a rinse

and the before and after on doing a iron post mordant ... everything is a bit darker and more intesne

Here is the before and after on all the skeins

I didn't dye the skein on the far right and I added one at the last minute that didn't make the before shot.  The unknown stash skein on the far left really didn't produce any type of promising results. 

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