Monday, November 12, 2007

Black Walnut Dye

I began today's adventure with my dyepot. I used a modest amount of the black walnuts since I had not odea of how many/much I would need. I have a good amount left so no worries about wasting them. I may never understand the wonderful world of uploaded Blogger photos. Although the browns are not really deep -towards black- they most definitely ARE much more saturated then these photos indicate. The resulting browns are more like the pot they were dyed in ! It was a very gray day here too - and so I expect that the camera used it's built in gray card to make it all look more gray then brown....oh well. There will be more photos and more experiments!

I decided to keep it very simple and used what I had at hand. Plain, unbleached, non-PFD, muslin. I also decided to try the first batch with no mordants. The walnuts (hulls and nuts) simmered for about 1/2 hour & then I added my first piece of dry muslin - see the middle photo below. Then I tried both less and more time in the dyepot. These photos look gray - but they are brown really. The results are a really nice suede brown (taupe kind of) color. I think that I could have really gotten a good saturated brown had I used more nuts which would have resulted in a stronger dye bath.
Of course I had to try some tie dye - now I remember how fun that is to do !
Below are two pieces that, once again are brown, not gray. The one on top was loosely wadded up and loosely rubberbanded - but the rubberbands broke somewhere in the process. The one on the bottom was folded and wrapped more tightly. I really like this piece and wish I had used a larger piece of fabric.

The piece below made by spreading wet fabric across a piece of "water" glass that I had spread with discharge paste & brayered. The fabric on the right had full strength discharge paste and the fabric on the left was made with diluted paste & it also lay on the glass a shorter amount of time.
So now my questions are:
1. How would PFD fabric affect the dye?
2. How many more walnuts would make a stronger dye bath?
3. How much more time in a stronger dye bath would it take to make a rich almost black dye?
I am looking forward to more experiments now and will have to unearth my PFD fabric to see how it reacts with the dye. Lots of fun today !


StegArt said...

Love how your tye died pieces turned out. Did you leave the walnuts whole, unpeeled?

jenclair said...

I love the tie dyed pieces, too!

Waltraud said...

Great results, wonderful colours and texture.

Vicki W said...

What fun! They turned out great! If you want your photos to show the true brown you will need to have something gray in the photo (like a photographer's gray card. Digital cameras are looking for 18% gray in the photo (about the color of faded denim jeans). I use a gray card in every photo I take and then crop it out before I psot the photo. Hope that helps!

Sue B said...

Interesting results Marie. I especially love that tie dye piece - very cool.

Karoda said...

oooo, good experiments going on here! thanks for sharing them.

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