Sunday, 24 August 2014

Out with the old and in with the new ...

'Tis BlackBerrying season again and I have a terrible confession ....... I still have last year's blackberries in the freezer.  Admittedly they were picked right at the end of the season and they did not taste good.  We picked them with the express intention of using them for dyeing.  Well, a year later I had a go.  It's something I've always wanted to do and I have to say there was a lot of smiling going on from me today!

I love the sharp distinction between white and .... blackberry! 
The dye bath was frozen berries, 1 tablespoon of sugar and water to cover.  I heated it and was supposed to simmer for a while but I forgot it and it was boiling!  I left it to cool for a while and then put the material in.

First lot of material in the dye bath. 
I used 100% pure cotton white used sheets that had been mordanted with alum.  There was also some off cuts of ?polycotton white used sheets that I had on my sewing table thrown in aswell.  I don't know exactly how long I left them.  We went into town, wandered around, drank a coffee, ate a pastry .....

And then there was this! 

 I just LOVE the colour.  Left hand side are the pre-mordanted sheets.  I realise that this is not going to be colour fast and I will look into how I can achieve something more stable but I really like the results.  Being of a thrifty nature I thought I would do another batch.  (In fact I'm now wondering what I can put in overnight!)

So the results from the second bath
From left to right: same 100% cotton sheet as used in the first bath but not pre-mordanted, vintage white cotton trim, 100% linen from a modern white skirt, white ?cotton twill tape and a vintage crochet doily, not sure what this was made from probably cotton.  They are a different colour which I expected because it was the second lot but maybe also because they were pre treated.
Well it's certainly whetted my appetite and there's now room in the freezer for more this year. x

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