Archive for October, 2011

Lichen dyeing at Earth Palette

October 11, 2011

Glenna Dean was offering a rare class in lichen dyeing at the Earth Palette conference in Taos.  As I knew nothing about lichen dyes, it was an opportunity to expand my knowledge.  All of the lichens we used were either collected after falling to the ground or collected from a site that was going to be destroyed by construction.   The lichens were soaked in water, soaked in ammonia, dipped in water, squeezed and the soaked in ammonia, or soaked in alcohol.  The samples dyed are handspun lincoln samples.


Some of the samples respond to UV – here are before and after images of the yarns after being exposed to sunlight.  The one one the right in each case was exposed to sunlight.




Indigo Dyeing Class at the Taos Wool Festival

October 11, 2011

I taught an indigo dyeing class at the Taos Wool Festival and used the opportunity to experiment with the organic vats.  I had viewed the DVD of Michel Garcia that Yoshiko Wada is selling and also reviewed my notes from the class with Jay Rich.  A friend had been at Penland this summer where there were also organic vats so she added some information into the mix.  There were 4 different vats used in class.  The standard Thio/Lye vat, an organic vat with fructose and lime, an organic vat with aloe vera and lime, and a prereduced vat.  The organic vats were prepared 24 hours ahead of time (actually more), transported to class, and reheated.  The PH was > 12 which was  a concern as wool was in the mix.  So tartaric acid was used to drop the PH and hide glue was used in the vats to protect the wool.  All of the vats worked fine.  Nothing disintegrated, everything dyed.  The organic vats were a little more fragile – you need to wait longer between adjustments and cannot dip as much as a thio vat before allowing it to rest.  The items need to rest longer in the organic vats (15 minutes).  The liquid is much more yellow and it tends to get murky if the vat needs rest.  The class was a success.