Dyeing For My Favorite Color

So, I’ve been learning about natural dyes and the process of dyeing yarn for the past few weeks. I got an awesome color and I wanted to reproduce it on a bigger scale. I got a very deep and beautiful purple from blackberries. I’m now going to knit a hat with it and super excited. Warning: Über Long Post.

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The Sorta Kinda Lab On Mordants This Time

Today I did a lab on how mordants affect yarn colors from natural dyes. I used the same book I used for the other lab. The natural sources I used were blackberries, onion skins, (decaf) coffee, and (Lipton) tea. It was so exciting to see the results. I was definitely shocked when some of the colors were extreme (which is really nice to have since I’ve only really seen very nice and soft colors from natural dyes online).  Continue reading

So, what is the chemistry behind it? Part 3

So, this is the subsequent post to Part 2 if it wasn’t obvious by now. This post is going to be about acid dyes, how it interacts with wool, why you soak yarn in water, and what mordants are for! (Warning, slightly long post)Continue reading

What the heck is a peptide!?

My awesome mentor bought a book called The Chemistry of Natural Dyes by Dianne N. Epp. The book goes into the chemistry of dyes, wool, mordants and pretty much anything you need to know about dyeing. I’m so excited because there’s chemistry in there and explanations! The other sources of information I found simply talked about what happens and what to do, but never explained why or what happens chemically.  Continue reading

Natural Dyes

After deciding that I really wanted to explore how the dyes works, I decided I should explore natural dyes. Natural dyes come from weird sources. They come from cow urine, insects, snails, octopus, and minerals. I was shocked that there were so many sources for colors. It also makes me wonder who discovered that the sources created colors on fibers. Continue reading

Uncertainty

My internship at a lab didn’t work out as expected. And I didn’t really know that it wouldn’t work till the end of my Spring Break.  The labs said they just needed to be notified a little bit earlier. I’m not sure what they need it for… I’m free labor. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind having someone do the smaller “annoying” tasks in the lab. It’s fine though. I at least paved the way for other students to be able to do it! Continue reading

Lab Report: Best Methodology to Dye Yarn; Microwave

Purpose

On my knitting/crocheting adventure, I stumbled upon dyeing yarn with Kool Aid. When I went to the store to get yarn. I could have sworn I got 100% wool. Guess what, it wasn’t. It was 100% cotton. I thought, eh it should still work. I found this blog that did a lab report on the most effective way to dye cotton since cotton doesn’t take up dye so well (at all). One thing I found interesting about that lab report, is that there were two samples. One was pre-soaked in vinegar and the other sample was not. In the cotton experiment it was evident that pre-soaking it made a difference. I did this experiment to see if it would have the same effect on wool. When I dyed my yarn I pre-soaked it and it worked nicely. I wanted to see if soaking it really mattered. Continue reading