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Sunday, 26 February 2012


Just realised it's 2 weeks since I last blogged.  I must have a very boring life - no, I just haven't done anything much that you'd be interested in.  But, today is Sun-dye!

I found these interesting-looking fungi growing on some dead logs on the wood pile and they looked as though they might give a bit of colour, so today I gave it a go.

I've tried to id them online, and also in my mushroom and toadstool books, plus my dyeing books, but still haven't a clue what they are.  They looked like little cushions sitting on the wood and were stuck pretty well.  It took a while to prise them all off.

Lots of colour on this one

I collected about 200g and broke them up into small pieces for the dyepot - they look a bit lot like Jak's biscuits!

I covered them with water and set them on the gas ring to heat.  After they'd been simmering for about 15 minutes, I added some ammonia which raises the ph and gives a stronger colour.  It didn't smell very nice, but wasn't too strong.  Another half hour of simmering released a lot of colour.  It looks a bit reddish when stirred, but there's a lot of yellow in there.  I'm hoping to get a strong yellow or maybe an orange.

I'm leaving the pieces to sit in the dye overnight and then tomorrow I'll strain them out.  I think there's probably still colour in them, so I may boil them up again and see what I get.

As for dyeing the wool, tomorrow I'll get some fleece washed and then mordant it (with alum and cream of tartar) and probably dye it the next day.  I'll report back soon - keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, and if anyone knows what these are, please let me know.

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