Dyeing with Rhubarb
Left, 8/2 reeled silk mordanted; Centre, wool, no mordant; Right, wool, no mordant;
Rhubarb roots – 250 gm. , cleaned, chopped, covered with water, then simmered for an hour and left to cool overnight. Next day the dye bath was strained and one skein wool added, brought to a bare simmer for about an hour. I then left the dye bath sitting for about 10 days and was going to throw it out. I remembered I hadn’t adjusted the ph of the dye bath so strained the dye bath again as it had a layer of mould on the top. After adjusting the ph to aprox. 8-9 I added another skein of wool, simmered for an hour then added a pre-mordanted skein of alum, cream of tartar mordanted silk, turned off the heat and let it all sit overnight. I was surprised at how much the colour changed with the ph adjustment and could see the dye bath colour change when I added the soda ash.
The silk has more depth of colour than the photo shows, but is so shiny it reflected more than the wool and is almost as dark.