Friday, February 4, 2011

my date with turmeric

Turmeric is awesome. We had a good time. Following the directions in the book The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes by Sasha Duerr, dying with turmeric (and no mordant) was fun, easy and dramatic. I used mostly small pieces, as I wanted to experiment with different fibers, and one larger piece, a home-sewn white caftan. (I made the caftan a long time ago  from a 1-hour caftan pattern and it took more like 6 hours, as I recall!) None of the photos showing the dyed cloth have had any touching up or editing. One dye-mix transferred very well to two batches of cloth, after that it began to fade. I don't have pictures of the last attempt but it is much lighter.

I was going to give the exact directions here but decided I shouldn't, copyrights and all. But the book is awesome, too, in case you're wondering.

Pre-soaking

Turmeric ready to go.

                                                  Lots of stirring going on in my kitchen lately.


Items left to right: Cotton bag, wool yarn, silk organza, cotton caftan, cotton print, piece of cotton t-shirt, and piece of cotton trim. The wool & silk took the color a little more than the cottons. All of these have been handwashed in cool, soapy water and rinsed until the water ran clear. I think I'll iron the caftan to help it hold the color, but I really don't know if it'll help. Everything I've read about turmeric says it loses its color and I'm hoping that's not the case, especially with the caftan!

                                                                              It begged for red.

                                                             Think I'll wear it more now. Possibly.

    This belt was handwoven with chenille yarn and various bobbles & beads & other yarns without a loom. It was begun on a long-ago Brigid's Day and took many moons to finish.

                                       

After all this, I started noticing turmeric all around the house . . . a wall in the
basement, the living room curtains, and there's more.
Synchronicities abound around turmeric!


19 comments:

deanna7trees said...

you got great color from the turmeric. i used turmeric once and the color yellow i got was so glaring i'm afraid to use it again. could be the particular fabric i was using. will have to try it again.

woman with wings said...

Deanna, it came out just right I think -- and if it really does fade so easily, that'll tone it down. Did yours fade? I'm excited to weave this color with red! That'll be wild!

deanna7trees said...

it faded a bit when washed but not as much as i would have liked. if i remember correctly, i think i overdyed it.

Jo said...

It reminds me of the golden wall in my bedroom, which is next to a red wall! Yes, lovely to wake up to, all that glowing color!

woman with wings said...

Jo, it sounds beautiful!

Els said...

beautiful colour!
Did you just use the powder?
(we know it as spice)

helen said...

(salo) I love the color you achieved and am curious if it will fade, keep us posted. and that Belt...to die for!

woman with wings said...

Els, thanks. And, yes -- it was an almost-full 2 oz. spice bottle of organic turmeric powder right out of my kitchen cupboard -- have to remember to buy more -- or maybe I should order it in bulk now!? I could see getting addicted to this color!

woman with wings said...

Helen, I definitely will pass on its colorfastedness -- is that a word? -- I love the belt, too. Probably to look at a little more than wear as the ends get really tangled, but once in a while it's worth it, you know.

Suzanna said...

I love the yellow and the red together...

Marie said...

Love tumeric for inside and out : )
It has such a rich cheerful color and is so
easy to use.
<3

deb g said...

All that yellow makes me happy! I'm finding different fabrics turn out so differently...

woman with wings said...

Suzanna, Marie & Deb -- with this crazy cold weather, yellow is pretty appealing -- Hey, do you think we'll like these hot colors when it's 99 degrees rather than 9? Ha. But I guess that's just the way it works, color makes us feel better!

Mo'a said...

What a beautiful sun filled color.
Yellow, purple and red are my favorite colors...needless to say I love your caftan and belt.

woman with wings said...

Mo'a -- thanks -- yes, the sun is in there, isn't it?

Chris said...

I'm thinking of making a "Great Eastern Sun" wall-hanging (blue sky with large yellow sun), and turmeric can be the sun's source of color. . .

woman with wings said...

Chris, oh wow, that will be so cool. Turmeric will give you a wonderful yellow for your piece!

Cindy said...

Beautiful. At one time I was going to plant alot of dye herbs, but that has not become a reality! And the only dying I've done is with Easter eggs.

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Cindy -- I'm discovering that even some of the common plants are good dye sources. Can't WAIT for things to grow again!