Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Before 1850, colour on every cloth was created with natural dye. I was looking at the British Designer, William Morris, for a rug I am going to do, and I found that he became an expert in natural dyeing.
Finding a store at Granville Island in Vancouver, my daughter, Liv, kindly obtained some natural dyes. Then she told me it was a mother's day gift. How lucky was I? I have an Indigo kit, natural dye kit, alum, marigold, pomegranate, henna, and brazilwood. The natural dye kit has osage, madder, logwood, natural cochineal, cutch, and tannin. They were obtained at MAIWA Supply, 1 604 669 3939 and at MAIWA@Maiwa.co. Recipes can be found on the Maiwa website.
The soft, muted shades of old hooked rugs are part of their charm, and many produce warm earthy tones. While synthetic dyes over the last 100 years have taken over natural dyes, now there is a renewed interest in the environmental sustainability of natural dyes.
Direct natural sunlight for drying naturally dyed material is recommended, and only natural fibers can be dyed using natural dyes. Mordants, those metallic salts that make the colour penetrate the wool fibers, can also be purchased through MAIWA.
I will bring the dyes to the Watrous weekend to show those who may be interested. No pictures yet, but when I do some dyeing, I'll post them.