Homesteading In The Pacific Northwest

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Color From Nature : Mordants and Modifiers

Understanding mordants and modifiers.

 I'd like us to to look at the first six pages of this excellent article  from Maiwa.  Let's get an understanding of mordants and how and why they work.

"Mordants are used in combination with natural dyes to make the colours lightfast and washfast. Some Mordants, like alum, prepare the cloth to receive the dye and do not add their own colour, others, like myrobalan, tannin and iron, will impart a colour to the cloth and can be used to significantly alter the colour of a dye. It is the combination of dyes and mordants that will yield a rich spectrum of colours."  Maiwa

Another great source for information about mordants is Griffin Dye Works.  There's a lot of information in this article.  I'd like you to read the first part and then in the section under specific mordants and modifiers click on and read the information on Alcohol, Alum, Ammonia,Citric acid,  Chrome, Copper, Cream of Tartar, Glauber's Salt, Iron, Soda Ash, Tin and Vinegar (we will be using or discussing all of these)

Logwood and Brazilwood with alum mordant

More to come soon!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Color From Nature : Supplies

And so my new adventure begins!

Here is a list of supplies we will need for our exploration of natural dyes.  We are going to start with purchased dyestuffs that are readily available and then in the spring and summer we will start planting and foraging our own.  Make sure you purchase the true dyestuff, not an extract; we'll be playing with those later.

My equipment closet

Mordants and Modifiers
Alum (Aluminum Sulfate)
Washing soda (soda ash)
Cream of Tartar
Alcohol (cheap gin, vodka or rubbing alcohol)

Start with:

Later we will be exploring:
Osage Orange

The dye "studio" ... yes, it used to be a bathroom :)

pH paper
pots (I use graniteware or stainless)
mason jars
source of heat
mesh bags
salad spinner
assorted spoons, tongs etc.
spray bottles

I'm sure I've forgotten something, but this should get us started ...

Yep!  I knew I forgot something!  How about the Dyeable Fibers
Tussah silk roving
Habotai and chiffon silk scarves
Wool roving
Wool fleece
Wool locks


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chicken Coop Ideas

This post is for FitzGyver as we move the coop into the greenhouse ;)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Deb Has Chickens!!

Here's the bad news ... after a 3 year "discussion" FitzGyver has finally agreed to let me keep a flock of chickens. Why bad news? DH said he would never agree to chickens unless he was pretty sure we're facing the EOTWAWKI ... last week he said go for it ...

The EOTWAWKI officially occurred at 2pm 7/27/2014

I bought a coop from Urban Chickens ....

And the Mike "FitzGyvered" it ....

Then I visited "The Roost" in search of local chickens ...
... and found them just on the other side of town :)

2 Sussexes and 2 Ameraucanas ...

So the World as we knew it has come to an end (EOTWAWKI).  After reading the news the last few weeks I'm not so sure that's a bad thing after all.  And I get chickens!