Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cochineal Dye and Silk Socks

I made a cochineal dye vat and dyed 1 pound of wool yarn. I can't believe how beautiful and how strong the color is. The color can definitely be called scarlet red. I used an Alum mordant. One half of the dye vat was plain water and the other vat was vinegar. The vinegar was supposed to make the red color more vivid. But, both of the reds turned out relatively the same dark scarlet red. I am going to try to knit up a pair of stockings with this wonderful color yarn.
The two small skeins of lighter red on top of the spools are samples that I did of non-mordant wool. According to the dye recipe, non-mordant fibers would not take the cochineal. The fibers are much lighter than the Alum mordant fibers and the color does not have as much depth.

I ordered an 8 oz cone of 100% dark blue (Orient Blue) silk from The Woolery and knit a pair of silk stockings. I had to double the yarn. The pictures I have do not do them justice. They are very fine and stately. I knit these for my fancy 18th Century Dress and Petticoat that the Silly Sisters made for me. They will go well together.

No comments: