Monday, June 27, 2016

Onion Peel Nature Dye

Ile de France nature dye.

June 19/16

Fibre: Ile de France
WOF: 312 grams (g)
Dye: Nature dye using onion skins and alum mordant.

Format: Scoured uncarded fibre. Used leftover alum mordant rejuvenated with one tsp. alum and half tsp. cream of tartar.

Added dry fibre in a mesh bag to very large pot of prepared alum mordant. Also added very small amount of dish detergent. Brought to a simmer and simmered for fifty minutes. Drained. Rinsed briefly. I did this the morning of dye day.

Nature Dye: Three year’s accumulation of onion skins. The previous day I prepared the onion peel dye. I placed two stuffed grocery bags full of dried onion peels into a large dye pot and added water to cover. I simmered for about four hours and then let it cool overnight.

The next morning, I drained the dye liquor into a couple of buckets and discarded the onion peels into the compost bin. I poured the dye liquor back into the dye pot and added the fleece which was encased in a mesh laundry bag. The dye liquor was a very deep, dark orange.

The fleece was completely under the liquid. I brought the temperature of the dye vat up to a simmer and simmered for four hours stirring frequently.

The dye vat was allowed to sit on the stove for two and a half days while I was at work. I then removed the mesh bag containing the fleece, drained it and then placed it in the sink with lukewarm water and some dish detergent to soak for twenty minutes. A lot of colour was still washing out. Washed four times, last with TNA (Synthrapol substitute). Colour still coming out and still smells of onions.

It was rinsed in a sink of slightly cooler water, drained, then rinsed again in clear water. After draining it was put in my front loading washer on the spin cycle.

From there it was spread out on mesh screening to air dry in a summery breeze and sunshine.

The resulting colour was a dark yellow orange.

When dry, I took fifteen g and drum carded it into three mini batts of five g each for a sample.

I made three rolags. I spun it on my Ashford Elizabeth Saxony wheel on the 8:1 pulley using the woollen point of contact draw at 40 wpi. Three bobbins of five g each spun Z.

I plied on the same wheel using a ratio of 12:1 in the S direction. The wheel was set to use double drive.

Fibre: Ile de France
Preparation: Drum carded rolags
Spinning Technique: Woollen. Point of contact. 8:1. Double drive. Plied 12:1. ZZZ S.
TPI: 4.6 tpi
Twist angle of plied yarn: 36°
WPI: 13
Bradford Count: 3/7s [1]
Finishing: Very warm water with dish soap. Rinsed in warm water twice. Wuzzed. Hung to dry.
Suitable end uses: Cardigans, mitts, hats, slippers, upholstery, rug weft.
Notes: This is a short stapled fleece. It is not soft.

[1] 8 yd / 5 g * 454 * 3 / 300 =

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