i discovered something by accident! i have been doing some experimenting lately in the dyeing area that has led to some interesting results, one of them involving spices! i decided to try dying some fabric with spices by just sprinkling them all over it and then wrapping the whole thing up, tying it and then boiling it for awhile. it's not something i had read about anywhere, but it sounded like a good idea to me. i had some unmordanted fabric and i thought, hmm.. why not sprinkle some other stuff on this thing as well, so i also sprinkled some alum and washing soda on it, and some baking soda too for good measure. the spices i had were turmeric (which is the only one i had tried using for dyeing before), ground sumac powder, paprika and cinnamon. so, here is the mess it looked like when i was done:
fun! i had only sprinkled on half, so i folded the other half over, then folded it up a bunch and tied it into a bundle. i then boiled it for an hour or so and let it cool in the water, then took it out and let it sit on the shelf for a day or so before opening it up and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing and finally washing it.
it turned out pretty interesting! lots of yellow, which is too be expected, i used a lot of turmeric, but it was also blotchy and fun.
so what's the fun with turmeric part? well! you see the bright red parts in the package there?
originally i had thought they were from the ground sumac, after all i had never worked with it before so i didnt really know what colour to expect from it. well! tonight i was doing a second spice dye experiment! this time i was going to try and do enough fabric to make a shopping bag and i want to use less spices so that it wouldnt be covered but have bits of white showing through (i also was going to try steaming it). i started pretty much in the same way though, i sprinkled the wet fabric with alum and then some baking soda and some washing soda and then i sprinkled it with turmeric and ....
!!!!! in spots the turmeric was turning bright red! well.. a bright burgundy red! it was the turmeric all along! so... the turmeric is reacting to something? either the alum, the washing soda or the baking soda! i had to finish up with my dye experiment and do a more controlled test to find out which! so i did!
i got myself a small piece of cloth and wet it and rubbed turmeric into it and then sprinkled it with the powders ...
from left to right you have washing soda (sodium carbonate), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and alum (ammonium aluminum sulfate). the w.soda changed the colour instantly! it was quite impressive! the b.soda altered the colour slightly after a min. or 2, and the alum did nothing to the colour.
interestingly, cloth that i have dyed in turmeric (by boiling it in the turmeric) that has been premordanted it alum and washing soda is still yellow...
i do not know why this picture is loading vertical? it is not a vertical picture and i do not have the energy to go and try and edit it right now. anyway, you can see, yellow.
perhaps the heat damages whatever it is that causes the ~red~ reaction? you can see that the final cloth is not too red. also, it seemed that steaming took out a lot of the colour as well, though i have not unwrapped that package yet. i wonder if just rolling it up and letting it sit for awhile would let the colours seep into the cloth enough to dye the fabric or if they would just wash out super quick?
anyway, the really really fast yellow to bright red reaction was a really neat surprise!