Shades of purple

I was asked to dye some alpaca a dark purple.  My usual recipe is indigo, mordant, cochineal but there always seems to be some discharge with the cochineal; even when the skein is neutralized in vinegar and mordanted after the indigo so the skein is pale.  Logwood is another option so the following are skeins of alpaca dyed with logwood.  All skeins are mordanted at 25% potassium aluminum sulphate as alpaca seems to do better with a higher % of alum.  Cream of tartar was not used as some references say that logwood goes towards brown with cream of tartar.

Logwood extract from Table Rock Llamas at 4% was used for two skeins.  Logwood chips at 20% was used for two skeins.  Boiling water was poured over the logwood chips and the pot was set aside for the night and used in the morning.

Logwood likes hard water so 5% chalk was added to one dye pot with the extract.  One of the skeins with the chips was dyed in a 10% walnut extract dye bath.

Conclusions; in my water (roof collected rain water) chalk makes an appreciable difference.  The tannin did not seem to make much of a difference.

Logwood extract at 4%; skein that had chalk added is on the bottom.   
All four skeins.

 Skeins with logwood chips.  Skein with tannin is on the bottom.  
Other things to try: mordant, dye, oxidize, mordant, dye.  Some sources say that logwood is like indigo and is better in layers.  Use tara as the tannin as logwood works better with that tannin than walnut.  Add chalk to the chips.


One Response to “Shades of purple”

  1. Franicia Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this valuable information on natural dyes and your calculations! It is a blessing. 🙂

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