Sunday, February 24, 2013

a red cabbage over-dye

 The little grocery store down the road from me had a sale on red cabbage last week.  Naturally, I picked some up to do a little dyeing.

Back in December I had dyed a couple of lengths of muslin using onion skins.  One I gave away for Christmas, but I kept the one on the right.  It seemed a prime candidate for some over-dyeing. I chopped my red cabbage and simmered it in the crockpot (I have a designated one just for dyeing - yay for garage sale finds!) until the leaves lost most of their color.  I then strained the leaves and tossed them in the compost and added my pre-mordanted wool and cotton to the dye bath along with a splash of ammonia.  And yes, it stinks.  A lot.  But the ammonia helps the color set.

My new onion and cabbage scarf is a pretty mix of olive and pale robin's egg blue.  Red cabbage dye often shifts towards grey on wool but I've found it less so on cotton.  I have some cotton duck I dyed last year that has still retained the look of chambray denim.  The thing with natural dyes is that even when they age and shift in color, they're still lovely.

Now I just need to roll the hem and I'm ready to wear some new color around my neck.

What have you made for yourself lately?

7 comments:

kristin said...

ah, lisa...you never cease to inspire!! I'm still breathless after enjoying all the photos of yesterdays 'stepping stones' piece. i love that you chose to stitch the stones into place ...so perfect. I'm just wondering...are you keeping this one for yourself? It would sure be hard to let go of. xx

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Thanks Kristin! The 'stepping stones' piece will be going into a little local show and then it will likely be up for sale. But you're right, it will be a harder one to let go of. xo

ariadne said...

The photo of the dyed scarves on the kiosk in the snow is a magical photo, it reminded me of Japanese or Chinese scenery films!AriadnefromGreece!

Corina said...

Love to read you dying adventures - great fabrics you make this way!

Catherine said...

I do love reading your blog! Re ammonia I think that Harris Tweed used to be soaked in pee for it which is why the vintage jackets whiff a bit when damp. You might be interested in harristweed.org\blog

Sonia / Cozy Memories said...

LOVE ! You remind me that I had dyed a cotton batiste scarf last year, and it's sitting in my cupboard ... instead of me wearing it, tsk .... silly girl (me)
A little onion & a little red cabbage can go a long way !
xoxo

liniecat said...

such a pretty shade of blue that!
So satisfying to know youre wearing a shade you achieved yourself too.

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