Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Not so Mellow Yellow

On Sunday, I went to a friend's house. She owns Earendel Farm. Really, it was a Regia Wynmerestow work weekend, but Edith and I really just played. I helped her warp her loom. Then as she was jetlagged from a trip to the UK, we went for a walk and picked a half a garbage bag full of Canadian Goldenrod (solidago canadensis). I spent Monday and Tuesday cooking down the goldenrod into a large pot of dye. As well, I mordanted 2.5 yards of wool gabardine with alum on Monday and let it soak until I needed it.
This morning, I mixed the fabric with the dye, added a bit of water and slowly heated it. I kept the fabric moving as the pot I had was obviously much too small. After about 3/4 of an hour, I was getting awfully tired and the wool was very yellow!

I moved the wool fabric to a Rubbermaid tote, heated up the dye with a bit of copper sulphate ( 2% wog) and poured the hot dye over the fabric and kept manipulating it. Finally when I was too tired to move it around anymore, I rinsed it out and put it outside to dry.
- Goldenrod smells horrible cooking in large amounts
- Goldenrod has this very odd way of foaming whenever the pot is stirred or fabric moved. Lots and lots of foam.
- Goldenrod is very yellow - makes a very yellow dye
- When you rely on the properties of Copper to dull or green a fabric down - it WON'T!

This will be a tunic for my husband. He wanted a shirt in a colour other than white. I can't bring myself to make an Elizabethan shirt in a colour other than white, so he's getting a tunic. He is someone for whom I would spend 3 days dyeing fabric for... I did, with love and care... It is a gorgeous yellow, in a neon-school bus sort of way.


Karen said...

Pshaw! Weld and Queen Anne's Lace (not together) are more neon then neon can get, yellow-wise.

But maybe it's just my monitor. :)

Nina said...

Okay, maybe not quite neon yellow, but it is bright, deep and very yellow. I really don't think I'll be able to loose the poor guy on a dark night, nor will he be able to sneak up on anyone wearing that tunic.
I've never really gotten neon yellow with Queen Anne's Lace. I've gotten a much softer yellow every time I've dyed with it.

Helen said...

Well it is certainly a very bright yellow! I really admire your hard work and hope DH really enjoys wearing it. It will probably cheer him up on cold dark winter days

Nina said...

If it doesn't cheer him up on a cold winter day, it will at least cheer me up:) Sometime soon, I hope to dig up enough courage to cut it up and sew the tunic. Right now I'm still just admiring the colour.