Monday, September 17, 2007

Car Tire Method For Walnut Dyeing Prep

I was asked to discuss how I prepared my walnut dye.

I got a 5 gallon bucket full of walnuts that had fallen from a walnut tree. (The tree pictured above is a young walnut tree that I planted not the one used for the dye)!I then laid them out in front of the car and rolled over them with the car tire. This was an excellent way to open the walnut up and crinkle the husk. I then grabbed the husks and threw them into a bucket of water and left them overnight. The next day I boiled them for about an hour in a large metal container and allowed it to cool. By now the water is dark and muddyish. Then I grabbed some old stockings and stretched them over the top of the container and poured the liquid out into another container that can be put on a heat source. The stocking held back the husk pieces and basically filtered out the large particles from the water. Then I put in whatever wool skein I wanted to dye and heated to just below boiling for about a half hour. The tannic acid that is naturally in the walnuts serve as a mordant. Then voila! I had me some dyed wool. I actually used the same water again to dye another batch and got a subtler shade which was still nice.

The first dye bath results can be seen in a previous post: here
and pictured above is a potholder (not quite finished) that was dyed from the 2nd water bath. Both wools were Corriedale from my first featured ewe, Brimble.

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