I have now completed all my dye experiments and am excited that I can now move on to spinning with my dyed wools as I believe this will really help to drive my project and give me ideas for my final piece.
I think that the colours I have managed to create are very successful. They are bright and complex and work really well together, the contrast between the natural dyes and bright mint greens created my the dylon is especially successful. I am surprised by how bright the colours I have managed to achieve from natural dyes areas I would have expected them to be reasonably dull. Instead I am very pleased to discover that the colours are very eye catching and I love hoe complex the colour created are compared to what can be achieved with synthetic dyes.
How successful these dyes have been and how exciting the colours are increases my respect for the traditional crafts which I am exploring in this project and my belief that passing on these skills is important. I also think that my failed attempts and times when I had to use trial and error, for example with the logwood, gave me an appreciation for the importance of community and learning from others as I think to really master the more difficult dyes I would need to learn from someone with more experience.
Out of all the dyes I have experimented with I have decided to use just the Alkanet, Cochineal, Logwood and Dylon in my final designs. The colours produced by the dried elderberries and the blackberries were too dull and brown for my colour palette. I especially love the colours produced by the Alkanet and Cochineal and believe that carding in some small pieces of Logwood will add nice contrasts in tone to my yarns. I also think that the green colours will successfully add a nice contrast to the purples and pinks achieved by the natural dyes.
It is very interesting to be using natural dyes in the knowledge that our ancestors used these daily for hundreds of years. There is so much history tied up in these dye stuffs and it is amazing to be able to use them in today’s society and give them a modern twist by incorporating new dyes and techniques. It really show how much the way we use these substances has changed over time.