Natural Dyeing with Hypericum perforatum Part II
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.