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Annatto Seeds
Seeds from a South American plant, Bixa orellana, widely used as in commercial food colourings, an ornamental where hardy, and the seeds are used in various cuisines to colour food. It's actually the pulp that surrounds the seeds that supplies the colour. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Produces various shades of yellow to orange-yellow and can be modified with mordants. Pre-mordanting recommended. Use at 30-40% WOF for medium shades. TO USE: soak seeds for several days or up to a week in a jar of water or vinegar and shake daily. Simmer in the soaking water/vinegar at 190-200°F for 1 hour. Cool overnight and strain. Add more water if necessary and enter wet, pre-mordanted fibre. Hold at a 180-190°F for one hour, then cool overnight in the dyebath. Light and washfastness: fair with a mordant. Keep wash temperatures cool and expect some dye run.
$2.75$11.25 Select options
natural dyes @ the fibre garden
Brazilwood, Extract
Sawdust or extract from a tropical tree, Caesalpinia punctata. This species is from southeast Asia and is not the endangered species native to Brazil but still produces good, rich colours. It is also called Sappanwood or Eastern Brazilwood. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Best with a premordant. A classic dye that gives rich crimson, purple or pink, depending on the mordant. Brazilwood is very generous and, although expensive, a dyebath can yield up to 7 or 8 successive dips. Have plenty of fibre prepared, soaked and ready! Light and washfastness is rated as average. SAWDUST: Use at 20-100% WOF for medium to strong shades. Soak in water and/or rubbing alcohol for a few hours. Spread on a tray to air overnight. Add to water and simmer 1 hour. Cool and strain. Observe dyebath colour. If it leans towards scarlet-orange, stir in a teaspoon of Soda Ash to push the pH higher and change the dyebath to more of a purple-red. Add small amounts of Soda Ash until this happens. Enter premordanted fibre to dye liquor and simmer 1 hour. EXTRACT: Approximately 6 times stronger than sawdust or chips. Use at 20-50% WOF for medium to strong shades. Dissolve in hot tap water and add to dyepot. Adjust pH with Soda Ash as outlined above. Enter premordanted fibre to dye liquor and simmer 1 hour.
$19.25$63.00 Select options
Flax Top – Bleached
Flax Top – Bleached
100% Flax (linen) fibre. Very clean combed top in a fairly narrow sliver, bleached to a bright ivory white. Staple length is 5 to 6 inches. This may be a good choice for those curious to try spinning flax for the first time. Our supplier suggests it can be either dry or wet-spun and no distaff is needed since it's already in a well-prepared form. It feels pretty soft for flax. Anybody up for the challenge? The various dyed colourways we carry begin with bleached flax, since it provides a good white base that won't lend the brown or tan tones that natural flax would give. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers must resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. Flax strikes just fine in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the flax alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended. PRODUCT of ITALY
$4.50$34.73 Select options
Hemp – Bleached (Top)
Hemp – Bleached (Top)
100% Hemp. This is beautiful stuff, the finest hemp we have ever seen and a local lady with a lot of experience spinning hemp tried it and agrees! If you want to dye your hemp fibre, this bleached version will give you nice, clear and bright colours. Very clean combed top, bleached to an off-white. Staple length is 6 to 7 inches. Hemp is a bast (stem) fibre from a very tall plant, essentially a strain of marijuana developed for fibre instead of other uses. Spun in a manner much like flax, the two also share the attribute of being harsh at first and just getting better and better over time with wear and laundering. It can be spun all by itself or blended with wool and other fibres. This has a light characteristic hemp scent but it's not overwhelming and should not be offensive to the nose during spinning. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers must resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. Hemp also works well in an indigo vat. PRODUCT of CHINA
$7.00$54.03 Select options
Hemp @ The Fibre Garden
Hemp – Natural Brown (Top)
100% Hemp. This is beautiful stuff, the finest hemp we have ever seen and a local lady with a lot of experience spinning hemp tried it and agrees! Very clean combed top, in a natural tan colour. Staple length is 6 to 7 inches. Hemp is a bast (stem) fibre from a very tall plant, essentially a strain of marijuana developed for fibre instead of other uses. Spun in a manner much like flax, the two also share the attribute of being harsh at first and just getting better and better over time with wear and laundering. It can be spun all by itself or blended with wool and other fibres. This has a light characteristic hemp scent but it's not overwhelming and should not be offensive to the nose during spinning. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers must resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. Hemp also works well in an indigo vat. PRODUCT of CHINA
$6.75$52.10 Select options
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Henna powder
A powder made from the dried leaves of a shrub, Lawsonia inermis, used for centuries as a hair and skin dye in many cultures. Used mainly on protein fibres but also effective on premordanted cellulose fibres. Substantive on wool (no mordant required) but mordants may improve lightfast qualities and copper, iron or tin will alter the resulting colours. By itself Henna produces shades of tan through brown to orange-brown or gold can also be achieved.Use at 50% WOF for medium to strong shades. TO USE: probably best soaked in water overnight. Simmer 1 hour in soaking liquid. Cool, strain then simmer premordanted fibre for 30-60 minutes. Light and washfastness: we're not sure yet, but probably pretty good.
$3.03$12.38 Select options
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Logwood, Extract
Dried and cured chips from a tropical tree, Haematoxylum campechianum. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Pre-mordanting essential. Produces dramatic pink, blue, maroon and purple to black shades. Use at 20-50% WOF for medium shades. TO USE: place chips in a stocking and soak overnight in cold water. Bring to a simmer for 1 hour, cool and remove stocking. Enter premordanted fibre and simmer for 1 hour. Bath may be used for successive dips, and by the 3rd or 4th dip the colours being yielded change to golds, greens or browns. Light and washfastness: average. Keep dyed fibres away from bright light. NEW: Logwood Extract: this has already been soaked out then reduced down to a powder. It's expensive but very strong and super convenient. Simply weigh out the extract at around 10% weight of fibre for medium shades, or adjust for darker or lighter. Dissolve in a measuring cup with hot (but not boiling) water, add to your dyepot with water, mix well, add your fibre and simmer for an hour.
$23.10$75.60 Select options
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Madder, Whole
Dried roots of Rubia tinctoria, available ground or whole. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Pre-mordanting recommended. A classic dye, giving dramatic reds, brick-reds to orange and coral. Use at 50-100% WOF for medium shades. TO USE: simmer in water below 185°F for 30 minutes. Cool overnight, then repeat simmer and strain. Add more water and enter pre-mordanted fibre. Hold below 158°F for one hour. Higher temperatures produce browns. Whole madder is best chopped up first in an old blender, or soaked overnight then ground as best you can in the blender with the soaking liquid. Rita Buchanan once described the process as attempting to break pencils with your bare hands. Despite this, many dyers claim the best colours come from the dried, whole roots. Light and washfastness: excellent.
$6.88$28.13 Select options
Ramie @ The Fibre Garden
Ramie (Top)
100% Ramie. Very clean combed top, in pencil-roving width. Staple length is 7 to 8 inches. Ramie comes from the stem (bast) fibre of a tropical plant. Typically it is bleached to an almost pure white. Our supply is very fine and soft. Ramie can be spun by itself or used in blends. It's well-suited for lighter summer wear, from against-the-skin to outerwear. An intriguing fibre for those that can't wear wool. < Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers can resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We don't know how Ramie responds in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the ramie alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.
$6.00$46.31 Select options
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Titanium oxalate
Used as a MORDANT in natural dyeing, which allows the plant pigments to bond with the fibres. Titanium is used both on protein and cellulose fibres, giving vibrant orange and gold tones when dyes contain tannins. As a mordant, this is relatively new and not much information abounds in books or even online. It may be the closest thing now available to replace chrome, which nobody much uses any longer. TO USE: weigh the dry fibre or yarn. Calculate mordant required for 8 to 15% WOF (weight of fibre). Dissolve in hot water. Fill pot with sufficient water for the fibre to move, add titanium and stir. Enter fibre. Bring to 180-200 degrees F and hold 1 hour. Stir yarns frequently. Cool, remove fibre and wash well. Dye immediately or dry for later. Some interesting results are being produced doing Eco-Printing on fabric, using Titanium as a mordant. We cannot seem to find much information on safe disposal of a Titanium mordant bath. Nothing we've found indicates it to be particularly toxic or harmful to plumbing or sewer systems, but to be on the safe side it may be best to dispose of this outdoors on a gravel driveway or similar place. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders. Wear gloves when rinsing or handling wet yarns. BEST DONE OUTDOORS or with very good ventilation. Avoid breathing fumes.
$19.80$81.00 Select options
Viscose – Bright (Top)
Viscose – Bright (Top)
100% Viscose Rayon. Extremely clean combed top. Lustrous white, with a staple length of 5 to 6 inches. Viscose is a type of rayon, and considered to be the very first successful manmade fibre after numerous attempts to create artificial silk. It is manufactured from wood pulp. Take advantage of the lovely sheen and soft handle to use this in blends for summer garments. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers can resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We don't know how viscose responds in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the viscose alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.
$3.50$27.00 Select options