Dyeing Wool & Silk Using Eastern Brazilwood

Wool & Silk Fibres

Dyeing Wool & Silk Using Eastern Brazilwood are the materials I chose to dye with. I used Cheviot, and Bluefaced Leicester combed top for my wool and silk hankies for my silk.

Eastern Brazilwood Dye Stock

Ground eastern Brazilwood powder is the dye stock I used. To use this ground wood, I first had to prepare the dye stock solution. I measured the dye stock solution into a mess bag and tied it with an elastic. I then put the mesh bag in a stainless steel pan with the rainwater I collected. I brought up the rainwater to 80C and let the eastern Brazilwood simmer for three hours, and then I turned off the heat and left the dye bath rest till the next day.

Mordants For Wool & Silk

The biggest challenge with dyeing any wool with any dyed material (natural or acid) is preventing your wool from getting felted. I remember the first time I tried to mordant a pound of Cheviot; I ended up throwing it all away! I was thrilled when I found aluminum tri formate. Aluminum tri formats is a room temperature mordant. This meant I could measure the aluminum tri formate based on the weight of my fibre, add it to my pans with the fibre and then leave it alone for a day or two. So convenient when life gets in the way, and you have to put your dyeing on hold for another day.

Modifiers To Change Eastern Brazilwood Colour

The thing I love most about natural dyeing is being able to change the colours. To change the colours, I use what are called modifiers. I use soda ash, citric acid, and iron. I love that I could take a reddish brown and make it salmon pink.

Eastern Brazilwood Dye Results

Here are the results from my dyeing in eastern Brazilwood with the silk hankies.

OAQFF Silk Hankies Dyed With Modifiers

Here are the results from dyeing eastern Brazilwood with blue-faced Leicester and Cheviot combed top.

OAQFF Eastern Brazilwood & Combed Top

On the second day, I had some leftover combed top, so I threw it in a dye bath that I modified. Here are the results.

OAQFF Second Round

Here are two skeins I threw in the dye bath too; I love the richness of colour!

OAQFF Miniskeins

I will definitely be dyeing with this dye stock again. What is your favourite colour; please leave a comment below.



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