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Friday, 1 July 2011

Success and Failure

Oh well, not everything turns out as we would like.  These are the results of my dyeing experiment with horsetail and I don't think I'll be hurrying back to pick more.  The fleece was mordanted with alum and then dyed - the one on the right was then put into an afterbath of copper to see if I could get it to turn green.

Not the best colour representation, but the one on the left turned out a sort of pale creamy yellow, very nondescript, and the other one is a sort of sludgy colour with bits of brown.

BUT, the good new is, the cotton seeds I planted last week from one of the bolls I pulled apart, have germinated :-

Three are through, and the fourth is on it's way.  Just need the greenhouse to be finished for the autumn so I can keep them warm.


  1. Shame about the horsetail experiment not working out... it would have been good to find a use for that pesky weed! Your cotton seedlings are looking promising though... hurray for home grown fibre production! :D

  2. Yep - just have to work out how to extract the fibres from our copious nettles now! Think I might have left the cotton a bit late in the season though. I was reading on the internet yesterday about it, and it takes between 90 and 100 days to mature.

    How was the holiday?

  3. Ooh... it would be great if you could harvest some fibre from nettles! Its lovely soft stuff but I've got no idea how you get it out of the nettle! I'll have to consult some of my books... it must be in there somewhere!

    Holiday was great thanks, I just need to sort out my photos and I'll blog about it. I visited a fantastic woad dyeing place on the last day that you might be interested in... there will be woad dyeing experiments coming up at some point in the future! :)