Hooker friend Sheila inspired me to try a bit of solar dyeing while the temperatures are soaring with plenty of sunshine. She sent me the directions last year but was kind enough to send them again so I wouldn't have to hunt for them.
As usual, I tried to rush the start (wanted to visit a few antique shops), so rather than mix up a new dye color or two, just used dye that I had previously mixed. My recipes are from the Emma Lou Lais/Barbara Carroll dye book, "Antique Colours for Primitive Rugs" using Cushing acid dyes. My #26 bronze green seemed a little thick and #85 Emma Lou's putty/old was a little shy of the 1/4 cup I planned on using.
Here is the wool I started out with.
Here are the results.
A couple of the greens are bright for me so they will probably go back in the dye pot at some point.
There is such a difference in the old putty. Some is a great tan, some has a purple cast to it.
I am just amazed at how easy it is to solar dye. Here are the instructions.
What you need ~
- Large glass jars with top. You can also use black garbage bags. If you don't have a lid, cover with aluminum foil
- Dye. I used Cushing acid dye
- White vinegar
- Wool, yarn, roving, etc. Says it only works with animal fibers
- Boiling water
Pre-soak what you are dyeing. I soaked my wool overnight.
Fill the jar about 1/3 with boiling water and 1/2 cup vinegar.
Dye may be added at this point or poured over the top for a more graduated color.
Add your wool and pack firmly.
Fill the jar with boiling water.
Place the lid on and put the jar outside in a location where it will get the most sun.
At the end of the day, it is done, though I did leave mine outside for about a day and a half.
Rinse and hang to dry or rinse in the washer and place in the dryer with a fluffy towel. It dries very quickly.
**What I would do differently**
The wool came out much more mottled than I would prefer and some areas didn't seem to have absorbed dye at all. I would not pack the wool in the jar as tightly and I would shake the jar to distribute the dye more evenly.
And what did I get at the antique shop? A sweet footwarmer.
Damage on the top tin . . .
. . . and missing it's door, so reasonably priced.
I'm definitely NOT a purist.
My collection now numbers four.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)