|saint john's wort plant dyed wool skeins, indigo and muslin hand stitched patchwork on studio wall|
The recipe says to simmer the flowers until the dye liquid turns deep red and then strain it. At first the liquid is a clear golden colour that looks red from above, but isn't.
I dyed three different pieces of wool along with skeins of about 2 oz each.
The first one is the darker piece in the photo below. Alum mordanted, simmered 15-20 minutes. (Jenny Dean advised that I would get a green colour).
The middle piece of wool in photo above was UN mordanted wool, simmered one hour. (This was supposed to turn red..but didn't. In fact, it looks greenish don't you think?).
Finally, the pale piece was steeped overnight. It was mordanted with alum and cream of tarter first.
Even though I did not get the promised colours this time, I am pleased to be learning more about using plants from my local area to dye fabric and threads with. Experience is the best teacher.way back in May- more than 90 inches long, 50 inches wide.
Two books were my guide for Saint John's Wort...both by Jenny Dean.
Wild Color: revised and updated and A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present