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Natural Dyeing with Hypericum perforatum Part II

July 14, 2010

I was  intrigued by the colours I achieved with the St. John’s Wort and had to try again to see if I could ge the four colours that are mentioned in my books.     This time I pre-mordanted a skein of silk (alum and cream of tartar using the Jenny Dean formula)  and measured off  5 gm mini skeins of both mordanted and  un-mordanted yarn.

Thank you for the replies everyone  about the name and maker of the niddy noddy and to the NZ link to the Pipy with a similar logo – interesting info)

I picked about 1 1/2 lbs. of St. John’s Wort early in the morning, picked off the flower heads.  This gave me 46 gms of flowers and buds.  When I squeezed the buds that were turning yellow alot of red came off onto my fingers, so  thought this was o.k. for the dye bath.  I chopped the rest  of the plant material for another dye bath.

The process was the same as before – simmer the flowers for an hour and strain the flowers out (which I didn’t do again).  Then I followed the recipe by adding  mordanted and unmordanted yarn alternating.   I was astounded by the colour differences.

My results – left to right in dye bath order.

Green -mordant;   Red-purple – no-mordant;  Green – mordant;  Lavender -no mordant;  Brown – mordant

The mordanted skeins are 20/2 silk, the un-mordanted are 30/2  (grabbed a wrong skein and didn’t realize until I had started, then thought it would be a help if I was confused about which was which – turns out there is no chance of confusion)

There is a 6th skein, but the colour is the same as skein #4 so I didn’t photograph it.  Photo looks a little shiny because of the flash, but the no flash photos didn’t show the colour properly at all, this is fairly true on my screen.    The yellow described in Jenny Dean’s book didn’t happen, but will be trying one more mordanted skein to see what I might get.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 10:46 am

    Gorgeous colors! Can’t believe the variety. Kudos.

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  2. July 15, 2010 3:01 am

    Great array of colors! What a difference mordant makes. Now, what are you going to use all those beautifully dyed mini silk skeins for?

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  3. Evelyn Oldroyd permalink
    July 15, 2010 7:55 am

    Thanks! I will be putting some onto cards for colour fast testing. I guess based on the results I will make a decision, but am assuming they will be fast because the recipe is in a number of dyeing references.

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  4. July 15, 2010 8:43 am

    Those pinks are astonishing! Are they light-fast do you think?

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  5. July 20, 2010 8:30 pm

    Your colors are wonderful. I look forward to when her book goes back into print the end of this year. My friend who owned a copy moved to Washington!

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  6. Evelyn Oldroyd permalink
    July 21, 2010 5:56 am

    I will have to do some lightfastness tests. Because this is mentioned in so many books, including recent ones, I am assuming they will be lightfast.

    I am lookiing forward to the book as well – though I seem to be the only one here that takes it out from the library!

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  7. Ruth Singer permalink
    October 2, 2013 1:55 pm

    Really lovely colour range. i can’t wait to try it out next summer.

    Like

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