Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Weld Holds It All Together

Wool Yarn Dyed With Natural Dyes

Moving along in our series of articles on Natural Dyes, and into the yellows, Weld , Reseda luteola, is one of the most historically important of the yellow natural dyes.

Wool Yarn Dyed with Weld, Mordant: Tin
  Also know as dyer's rocket, dyer's weed, and yellow weed, Weld is a native of Eurasia.
It was in use as a dye by the first century B.C. and was introduced to North America by the Colonists.
It not only produces a beautiful butter yellow colors, but was also  in over dyeing with indigo or woad to produce a color fast green. Because good greens are hard to produce using natural dyes, Weld became one of the most important dyes in the production of this color.

Grown from seeds, the thin long leaves grow from a rosette and the plant produces a spike for it's flower.
Even though it is considered an annual, but by accident, we were able to keep our Weld plants surviving the winter by planting them next to our clothes dryer vent.
They died off after the frost in the fall, but emerged from the roots the next spring.
These plants have lasted 3 summers and produced good dye material.
Weld Plants

  The whole plant above the ground is used as a dye. 
It can be used fresh or dried. 
Simply tie a plant bundle with string and boil it in water to extract the dye. 
If you are using chopped plant material, fashion a cloth tea bag , place the chopped material in the bag, tie tightly, and boil in water to extract the dye.

Dried Chopped Weld
 As with all natural dyes, the color will depend on the strength of the dye bath, the ph of the water, and the mordant that is used. 

Wool Yarn Dyed with Weld,  Mordants Left to Right: Alum, Tin, Iron

Dried Chopped Weld is available on our website, along with other natural dyes, mordants, and wool yarn dyed with natural dyes.
When available, we also may have wool roving dyed with natural dyes and natural dye plant seeds.

                                                                                    © 2015 Brush Creek Wool Works

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

On the Road Again, and Back Home

Main Building Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Brush Creek Wool Works at the MS&WF

We finally are done unpacking from having a booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
 A big thanks to all  of the people who volunteer to produce that event.
 It was  fabulous this year, and if they have us back, next year will be our 30th year at the festival.

Before the festival, we always look to add new items.
We have listed a few of those new items and will be adding more to our website.

For the Spinners we have added a Diz to accompany our 
Viking Wool Combs 

Wool Diz

Viking Wool Combs

We also have some new Multicolor Merino Wool Rovings

Rose Quartz

We will keep you informed of any additional new items as we add them.
For those who visited us at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, thank you for stopping in to see us.

©  2015 Brush Creek Wool Works

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Coming Attractions and New Spring Listings

With inventory done and taxes almost complete, we are in the process of sourcing new items for  this year.
We will be sourcing new book titles, silk and wool yarns, hopefully some linen yarn, and what ever unique treasures we run across in our travels.
We will also be starting the dye pots as soon as weather permits, to dye our line of natural dyed wool roving and multicolor merino roving.
Check back from time to time to discover our new offerings.

We also have a wide variety of herbs and spices, yet to be listed on our website.
If you need an item,that you may have seen at our booth at a show, but is not available on our website, please contact us.
We may have it in stock or be able to source it for you.

Although being in stock for quite sometime on our show shelves, we have just added the following items to our website in the tea sections.

Spiced Apple Chai
Earl Grey Tea

© 2015 Brush Creek Wool Works

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fussing with Fustic

Fustic Natural Dye, Chlorophora tinctoria, or Maclura tinctoria, known also as Old Fustic, is extracted from the heartwood of a tropical tree native to the Americas.
 It is related to the mulberry tree and sometimes called Dyer's Mulberry.
It yields is a very vibrant yellow dye, which has been used throughout history for textile dyeing.

Fustic Chips with Fustic Dyed Wool Yarn

It is not to be confused with Young or New Fustic, 
Rhus cotinus smoke tree or smoke bush, which is a European and Asian shrub that is relate to the cashew tree. 
New Fustic produces a lighter and less color fast dye and is grown as an ornamental shrub. 
It is also commonly called Venetian Fustic or sumac.

There are many dye plants that yield what is commonly known in natural dye circles as "weed yellows."
However, Fustic is one yellow dye that will not disappoint.
Fustic is a good dye for over dyeing, especially using Indigo, with the resulting color a good fast green, which is a color that is hard to obtain. 
It also gives good butter yellows to gold, depending  on the mordant that is used. 

Fustic Dyed Wool Yarn, Mordants left to right: Alum, Tin, Iron

Fustic Chips are available from our website, as are  other natural dyes and mordants for natural dyeing.

Fustic Chips

Also, depending on the time of year, we offer
 wool yarns dyed with Fustic, and dyed wool rovings .
At times, we also offer wool roving that have been mordanted  to enable you to natural dye your own rovings.

Natural dyes can also be used on silk and other animal fibers.
However, when used on plant fiber such as cotton, hemp, or flax, will yield more pastel colors.

                                        © 2015 Brush Creek Wool Works

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Red Sandalwood Tastefully Beautiful

Red Sandalwood Powder with Dyed Yarn Samples

The common names for Red Sandalwood are Red Sanders, Red Sandalwood, Sanders, Saunders, and Saunderswood.
Sandalwoods are medium sized trees, that are of the same botanical family as European mistletoe, and like mistletoe, form a hemiparasitic relationship with other trees or plants. 
Pterocarpus santalinus, is  a species from southern India, which was originally used as a dye material and also a spice in many Medieval Europe and South Asian recipes..
This tree is valued for the rich red color of its wood.
The wood is not the aromatic Yellow Sandalwood,  Santalum album, that is also native to South India.

The above two species are considered threatened or endangered.
Today we use the species Pterocarpus soyauxii for fabric and fiber dye, food dye, as a spice, and some Ayurvedic medicinal uses.

The dye in Red Sandalwood is not water soluble, i.e., it will not dissolve in water.
To extract the dye, one must soak the powder or fine chips in rubbing alcohol .
This liquid is then added to a water dye bath, being cautious as the alcohol is flammable.

Wool Yarn Dyed with Red Sandalwood

As with all natural dyes, colors will be effected by the mordant used to make the dye colorfast.
The above wool yarn was dyed with Red Sandalwood and the mordants used are from top to bottom:
Alum, Tin, and Chrome 

Food grade Red Sandalwood  and also Red Sandalwood  natural dye  is available on our website along with other spices and natural dyes and mordants.

                                   © 2015 Brush Creek Wool Works