Each month, we plan to collect plant material from Winterbourne Botanic Gardens (supplied by the gardeners) and see what colours we can obtain on wool and silk. In January the fruit trees were pruned so apple wood was our first experiment.
The apple prunings were chopped up and put to soak in cold water for a couple of weeks.
Five of us assembled in the kitchen to see whether the apple wood would release enough dye to colour the fibres
and to eat cake (though, obviously not at the same time!)
The apple prunings were heated slowly until it reached boiling point, then simmered for about an hour. The mordanted skeins and silk were added to the dye bath and simmered gently for about 45 minutes.
Of the skeins that we dyed, one was labelled as the 'standard' colour, another was put aside to be tested for light fastness, two more will be overdyed with woad and madder later in the year, and three were treated to see if the colour would change with modifiers.
Results to follow...