I had recently shelled some dried pods of fava beans and left some of them in a bucket. We got about 1/2 inch of rain the next night and I noticed that the hulls had stained the water an extremely rich black/brown. Seems like dry fava hulls might possibly be a dye plant.
This looks interesting. Are you up for an experiment? Do you have any scrap wool yarn, fabric, or fiber? If so, you could put in a little piece, wetted with water first, and leave it sit in the sun to "cook" for several days or until their is too much mold. Then take out the sample and rinse well. It should have taken up the color enough to see if the process warrants additional experiments. If you leave the sample out to weather, you can see how wash fast and light fast the color is. If it fades after a week of sun or several rains wash out most of the color, it's probably not worth going farther with experiments in terms of mordants. You could also experiment with a bit of cellulose fiber like cotton. Although I'm less familiar with that process, you might be able to check the potential of this dye with an informal test like that used for the animal fibers.
I threw a little piece of cotton yarn and some undyed alpaca from my wife's yarn stash. The alpaca is already a light grey/tan color. I must say the bucket smells pretty unappetizing, but presumably you could boil the dye out quickly and it wouldn't be all fermented and stinky?
If you boil the dye bath you'll get a faster extraction of the color than if you let it sit and rot down. The color will be slightly different depending if it's hot or cold extracted. I usually do the cold method but keep it outdoors where the stink isn't so noticeable. It depends on your tolerance for yuck ;>)
Post by 12540dumont on Aug 3, 2012 22:38:17 GMT -5
When I play with plants I dye, I use this method.
I chop the plant part up. For shells of beans I don't bother. I add boiling water to a bucket and let it sit over night. The next day I strain off the shells. I put the bucket water in a stainless steel kettle or divide it between 2. In one I add vinegar, in the other alum and stir. Then I add my fabric or in my case yarn (baa) and slowly bring it a simmer and keep it there for 45 min to an hour. Then I turn it off and leave the yarn to cool naturally. The next day I wash it to see what I have got. I have found that it always helps to add salt to the pot.
I wish that there were enough hours a day to feed my fiber addiction. Leo and I take a dye class every other year. We went to SF and learned shibori. That was a blast. Last year we went to San Luis Obispo and did some screen printing.
This is a piece of yardage that we block printed using dyes with sea algae. Some of the blocks we carved and some of them we purchased. I'm going to make this into farm overalls, or bags to hold potatoes. I haven't decided yet.
Alpaca... Ask your wife if she want's to buy a drum carder. PM me if she does. I sold my spinning wheel yesterday and the loom has to go too. I promised Leo to downsize.
The neighbors down the street have buffalo and they are rubbing on the fence. It's all I can do to not leave the squash in the field to go collect buffalo. Sigh.
I haven't heard of a support group for fiber addicts yet, other than the guilds ;>). I too am trying to cut back/focus. We still have 2 Shetland sheep who keep me in plenty of fiber for spinning. I've spent the past year getting caught up on several years backlog of fleece. I have a wonderful loom that I've listed on Craig's List that needs a weaver to give it a home. I'm mostly a crocheter and don't have time to master another skill to do the loom justice.