Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brownish

Even though I find it a bit hard to let go of summer, I still find that autumn perhaps is my favourite time of year. I find that autumn makes me sigh a bit more than usual, and more often my eyes seek the horizon, you know, with these long distance, lingering glances with a hand under the chin. A lovely bitter sweet feeling of letting go of something while change is forcing its way into your mind, and a last you have to surrender and focus on new possibilities and joys!
Perhaps this time of year corresponds with a (mostly hidden) melancholic part in me …

I tried dyeing with walnut hulls for the first time. So many lovely brownish colors, and as easy as pie! If you haven't tried natural dyeing before, this is the time to start!

You can use the hulls fresh and green (walnuts inside), and in every stage of decay from fresh to black and... well, rotten. You can even use some of the leaves as well.

Put the hulls in a large pot, cover with water and let it soak for a couple of days. Put the pot on the fire and bring it to a boil, let it simmer for an hour or so. Let it rest to the next day. Strain. If there's any dregs in the dye bath then strain again through a piece of old cotton fabric.


Now you can add yarn, silk scarves or wool fleece. To avoid blemishes, let it soak in cold water for a couple of hours before adding to the dye bath. Bring slowly to a simmer, and use a stick or similar to move the items gently in the dye bath to ensure even take-up of the dye.

Let it all cool. Now is the time to put on a pair of rubber/plastic gloves before you gently squeeze the fibres. Rince in cold water until the water is clear.

You can also make beautiful ink from the hulls, you can see how to here, at Quince & Quire.


Time for woolen undies, warm wool knit and natural dyed silk scarves!

7 comments:

  1. Great step by step guide on using natural dyes. I never even considered it until now. I love the idea of a huge pot simmering away on an open fire in the garden and a big stick to stir everything with!

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  2. Skønt indlæg og skønne billeder. Jeg bliver så inspireret af at læse med hos dig. Jeg får lyst til at favne naturen på en anden måde end jeg ellers gør.

    Knus fra engen ;-)

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  3. Så smukke farver - og så simpelt. Ja - jeg kan ikke sige mig helt fri for at sige som dig: Jeg elsker efterår..

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  4. Å jeg elsker også efteråret, måske allermest af alle årstider fordi man påskønner hver eneste smukke dag så meget mere når man ved at november lurer lige om hjørnet. Valdnødder er næsten en besættelse hos mig og hvis noget kan farve så er det valdnøddeskaller så jeg forstår godt at du kan fange alle de smukke nuancer i dit uld. Nøddebrune efterårshilsner fra Fejø.

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  5. We dyed wool with walnuts this year too. Love the smell of walnuts and the light brown color it left behind on the fiber. HA, we didn't use gloves though so we had stained hands for a day or so. ;) Now to go check out the ink.

    lisa

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  6. such a beautiful post and a gorgeous process!!

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