After over dyeing the silk I had originally tried to dye with alkanet I was able to achieve much better results. I over dyed half the silk in logwood and half in alkanet and now have a range of purple tones which I think will produce some successful lilacs when they are carded together. I have learnt a lot more about alkanet dye through this experience. It is a far more difficult dye to use than the other natural dyes I have experimented with. Because the dye has to be extracted by soaking it in a spirit for a few days it is a much longer process and so if mistakes are made it takes much longer to rectify them. The dye stuff also doesn’t release as much dye as the others meaning that it takes longer for the dyes to take and that it becomes exhaust dye very quickly, at this point it stops creating lilacs and just dyes the fibres grey.
Although due to these problems it has taken me far longer to do the dyeing than I had wished I am glad that I took the time to get the right colours as matching the colours to the photograph is an important part of my project and without good colours it will be impossible to make successful yarns even if I had more time.