Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cochineal purple? Who Knew?

I was trying for that rich cranberry red--I got purple!

22 days until StashFest, and I'm spending every waking moment in the studio. Every available space has silk drying, Some are dyed in natural dyes such as madder, indigo, cochineal, weld, onion skin, and madrona bark. Some were stretched and painted with a brush, using commercial dyes that are then steamed.

 Surrounded with the rich beauty of color, design, and texture, I am in heaven! And OMG am I learning!

For example, I learned that, yes,  cream of tarter will make cochineal less purple and more red, but don't leave the cloth in the vat overnight. Cream of tarter crystals were stuck all over my silk and would not wash out! It's like they were glued on! They wouldn't brush off either. Finally, I soaked the silk in hot water in an attempt to dissolve the crystals. That worked....but..... the color turned back to purple or a brownish purple in some cases.

It seems my water has a lot of iron and perhaps other minerals in it, and that's what made the cochineal purple.

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