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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Adventures with fibre: a weekend to dye for

After selling a few skeins of yarn over at Hares Moon Yarns, I decided to try some experiments with different and unusual fibres. Not only do I want to see how they knit up, I also wanted to have a go at dying them.

Having bought 400g of white shetland as the base, I chose 100g bamboo and 100g of banana fibre to play with from D&T Craft & Design in Sale, Cheshire. Having drawn a blank in finding any acid dyes locally, I bought some small pots online from Rainbow Silks in Buckinghamshire.

The shetland dyes really well, though it can be a bit patchy if you don't loosen it after squeezing out the excess water before putting it in the dye bath.






I've dyed soy silk before and that also takes the dye really well, so I hoped that these other plant fibres would act in a similar fashion. Not so.

Both have come out interesting but pastel shades of the colours I was hoping for. The banana I divided in 2 and now have some pale yellow and some pale peach (which should have been the same as the shetland above as it is was in the same pot!). The bamboo I was hoping to turn a deep sea green, but I have mint instead. Nice, but not really what I wanted.

By contrast, the soy silk I dyed a couple of weeks ago is a good strong colour:





I think I'll stick with the soy silk for now, although I'd like to try some cotton at some point.