I have to confess, this wool is so much softer than it looks. All of these pieces of wool are dyed using either Liquid or gel food dyes as well as a combination of Alum and Cream of Tartar as a mordant. I do enjoy how the colors have turned out, they are not as brilliant as I would have liked. I did find out with the last batch of yellow I did, if I pre-mordant the fiber and cook up the dye bath in the mordant and use about half a container of the color then the colors come out very rich, the bottom two golden yellows. The yellow right above was first dyed in Hibiscus Tea (a variety that was quite sharp though I usually prefer hibiscus tea). This particular blend of tea is a very sharp red and initially turned the fiber a beautiful Burgundy…alas all of that color just ran right out of the fiber when it was taken from the bath. The result was a very faintly beige color, you know that shade of eggshell where you are staring at it and saying “it isn’t quite white but it isn’t really anything else either.” So I overdyed by plopping this fiber into a pot that I thought was exhausted (it wasn’t) and turned out to be very pretty and rinsed clear.
I am really happy with my experimentations. If I get particularly brave this afternoon I might try to fill out cards with what information I have for them and start a dye dairy. At the absolute minimum I intend to finish dyeing my fibers using the Wilton Cake Dye kit I obtained and Alum Mordant so that I have a wide Pallette of colors to play with. If sometime this summer a yen takes my fancy I might look into obtaining some Jacquard dyes to get more colors. I do hope to spend some time this summer and fall experimenting with plant materials and the dyes that they can create, how exciting!