Dye Days of Summer – Pears
For my second dye experiment, I used pear twigs and leaves, soaked in well water for about a week.
I put the soaked twigs and leaves in the dye pot with fresh water, heated it to 200 degrees F, and added two sample skeins, one mordanted with alum and one with pond water. I left them in overnight, and in the morning I had wonderful results.
There seemed to be plenty of color in the dye pot so I kept throwing in samples. I got mostly tans, nothing as intense as the first two skeins. After removing the samples from the dye, I tried dips in various modifiers – copper, ammonia (a few drops of household ammonia in well water), vinegar (just straight white vinegar), and iron. Nothing earthshaking or surprising happened, but it was still fun.
I also poured the soaking water into the solar jars, to see if that would work. Those skeins have been in the jars for about 48 hours, and just achieved a very light yellow-greenish tan color.
Now it’s on to elm twigs!
(If you need to know more about how I prepared the yarn for dyeing, and how I prepared the modifiers, I wrote about that here. Let me know if you have any questions!)