Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Madder Recipe

I will be at the Woodstock Fleece Festival (Woodstock, ON) Oct. 19, 2013. Booth is B18 in the center aisle. My husband of Four Poster Woodworks will be selling spinning tools & a few weaving products.
I will have some of my handcrafted soap ( MIM Soap ) and a few bags of madder for sale with this included recipe, but here it is for anyone that would like it.

Madder Root Prep for Dyeing Wool

Yield: 35-100% WOF*. eg. 100 grams of fibre will require from 35-100 grams madder depending on the DOS** you would like.

There are many methods used to dye with madder. Here is one example how to dye a protein fibre:

Prepare the fibre/skein:
Scour yarn or fibre.
Mordant clean fibre/yarn with alum (potassium aluminum sulfate) as your instructions recommend. Rinse.
Fibre or yarn for dyeing must be soaked at least 1 hour.

You probably would want to place the fibre in a mesh bag or strain the dye first to remove the root matter.

Prepare the dyepot by adding to 4 l. water to a large pot (stainless steel or enamel) and soaking the roots overnight.
For best colour results the water should be hard. If you don’t have hard water you can add a little calcium carbonate (or one Tum’s tablet) to the water along with the roots.
Alternately, you can grind the roots in a non-food blender with some of the water first, doing a little at a time before adding to the dyepot. Soak overnight.

When roots & water have been combined & have soaked overnight, slowly raise temperature to 140F for 1 hr.
Add fibre and continue cooking at 140 for 1-2 hrs.
Temperature is important because higher temperatures will bring out brownish reds – so do not go above 160F.
At the end of this time the fibre can be removed and cooled. Let sit overnight & rinse the next day.

*WOF= weight of fibre
**DOS=depth of shade

100 grams=3.5 oz.
113 grams=4 oz.

Further reading:
1. http://www.maiwa.com/pdf/natural_dyeing.pdf
2. http://www.wildcolours.co.uk/html/madder_dye.html
3. A Dyer’s Garden book by Rita Buchanan

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Madder Crop 2013

This is the result of 3 years growth on my crop of madder. 

Should be fun to see the dye results. My research says 700 grams of fresh madder roots will yield 100 grams of dried roots. 

To use the dried roots, it is suggested to soak the roots in water for 24 hours; then  place water in a blender & gradually add a few bits of root at a time until liquified. 

Use this blend of water and roots to dye your mordanted wool or silk. 
100 grams of dried madder roots will dye 300 grams fibre a lighter colour or 50grams fibre a darker shade. 

Some believe that adding 6 grams calcium carbonate to the water to ensure you are using hard water will improve the colour. 

Heat the madder roots and water gently to 160-170 degrees and just keep the temperature warm like this. After, strain the dye liquor through a very fine sieve to remove the madder pieces, etc. return to stove to keep warm. 

Add your pre mordanted wet fibre to the dye pot and leave in for at least 2 hrs or even overnight, keeping the pot warm. Letting the fibre dry before you wash it will improve the colour too. 

The next time I have a couple of days off I will try a pot of madder for dyeing some wool.