Sunday, November 13, 2016

Madder workshop at SAFF

I went to SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fest, at the end of October. It was Hallowe'en weekend, well timed. There were some costumes on view.

A highlight of the weekend was a madder workshop put on by Jackie of Forage Color.

The process was outlined in this book, and actually is illustrated on the cover:

We each had 20 samples, a generous 90 yards each. We used a superwash merino. Apparently the superwash takes dye well. Jackie dyed them all together, with us helping and a couple of guys serving as "water bearers." 

There were four pre dyeing options: no mordant, alum, copper, and iron.  Jackie had done the mordanting ahead of time. 

We used a different madder dyepot, heated to 160 then left to cool,  for each pre dyeing option so as not to "muddy" the results. 

Skeins soaked for an hour and then were removed. At this point there was lots of labelling going on to identify which treatment each skein got.

Skeins were then looking lovely but there was another step: an afterbath:  each of the four predyed options was then "separated" into another five options:  no after bath, an alkaline afterbath, an acidic afterbath, or another dip in alum or iron.  

Here Jackie tests the acidity and alkalinity of those two afterbath options

They were left to soak for an hour. 

There was then a really good rinse, and thus, we had 20 different shades.   

 Jackie had some dyekits for sale and I took advantage!

 Lovely Hallowe'eny colors!

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