My fun with natural dyes continues…. I have been on the hunt for a nice green. You would think this would be easy.. apparently not as easy as I thought. If I had more snake weed I would have tried that on my commercial top. Alas, I have none. What I do have though is some dried Canyaigre root. When harvested, the root kind of looks like a sweet potato. I grated it and dried it on screens and it has been living in my bin of dyes for about 5-6 years (Is this sounding familiar??)
The Navajo use this as a dye. According to my book, you need half the amount of the root as you do fiber. I had weighed out 4 oz of root thinking that I would dye 8 oz of fiber. This was soaked in a bucket over night. Then I decided I wanted to dye more fiber… so I added some extra root that was not dried. This whole pot was brought up to a boil and simmered for an hour. I dumped in the fiber and this was also simmered below a boil for another hour.
To get the green dye you have to use an iron assist. This consist of simmering some Ferris Sulfate in a pan of water and then putting in your skeins. I used slightly more than 1 tsp of the iron in my pot of water. When the fiber hit, the color change was instant. I only left the skein in for maybe 2 min tops. Then the fiber was allowed to cool, then rinsed in clean water and hung to dry.
To the left is the skein with just the Canyaigre and the right is the iron assist. they had just been hung and are still wet.