Time to make some end-of-schoolyear gifts for the kids' teachers!
I wet them and treated them with mordant simultaneously: with a silver dollar sized dollop of gentle shampoo, 3 teaspoons of alum, and no cream of tartar. (Alum is completely nontoxic - it's also used in pickling.) I warmed the bath to a bit hotter than lukewarm, then let them sit for 4.5 hours.
Next I squeezed them out, then folded, twisted, and tied. Then the gloves went on and the dyeing began.
|Ready to go.|
|The juice left over after cooking enough wild blueberries for a deep-dish pie.|
|A single boiling-water extraction of 4 pinches of logwood chips. You can be really miserly with your logwood, and it pays off in not having to spend forever rinsing your fabric afterward.|
|Blueberry dyed, hanging in the sun for photography. L-R: twisted then tied; folded into triangles (gave a cool snowflake/diamond pattern!); accordion-pleated; marble-and-elastic resist.|
|The exhausted logwood dyebath the next day, after leaving a vintage cotton scarf in there overnight. With this little colour and all that sediment, it was safe to dispose of in my garden compost pile.|
Note: All three of these natural dyestuffs are fugitive; that is, they fade with time, wear, and exposure to sunlight. Using alum as the mordant will help them stick around a little longer, but I expect all of these scarves will change their appearance as they are worn and gently washed.