Tuesday, April 16, 2013

dyeing with acorn caps

This time of year there isn't an abundance of dyestuffs to be found, but in the semi-thaw we had last week my kids gathered up a bunch of soggy acorn caps from under one of the oaks.

I wasn't sure how much tannin they would still hold after a winter of heavy snow but I stuck them in a quart jar with water anyway and let them sit for a few days.

They made a good dark "tea", telling me there was hope, so I put them in the dye pot and let them simmer with a little more water for about an hour.  After straining them out, I added a white cotton t-shirt, a small amount of unmordanted wool, and some white and previously-dyed (with red cabbage) cotton floss.

Each picked up the nice golden tan from the acorn caps, and once dipped in an iron solution (let a steel wool pad sit in a cup or two of vinegar overnight and you have an iron solution) the golden tan deepened and turned towards grey.

The results are nice, with a look like driftwood or my old weathered table. (my photos are not capturing the depth of color, sadly)  For those of you that would like to try natural dyeing, this one's an easy one to start with.


whatzitknitz said...

I hadn't thought of using acorn caps to dye with. I will have to look around the woods by our cabin.
I was in the mood for some natural dyeing last week so I used some blossoms I had frozen last fall and also walnut dye that I have in the garden shed. I put some pictures on my blog--
I am eager to see ferns come up cause I want to try that again this spring.

Brittan said...

I love the top, the natural texture from the dye looks great! I was out playing with an old indigo vat today (it is BEAUTIFUL out!) and yesterday got together with a friend to dye with walnut and brazilwood that she had cooked up. So fun!
Can't wait to see what you make with the wool.


Sonia / Cozy Memories said...

Lovely ! Like I told you on FB, I picked acorn tops a while ago, and after I'm done with the couple of dyeings I have on my list, they will go into the dyepot too ! xoxo

Beegirl said...

I have a bag of acorn caps on the back porch waiting to try this! Wonderful post and thanks for sharing..


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