An Anglo-Saxon Cyrtel: Appendix B – Dye Recipes

Madder dyed yarn and fiber

Madder Proportions/Process:

2 pounds, 12 ounces yarn in 2 yard skeins; 4 ounces wool in roving form
(in case of under estimation of needed yardage for the warp)

While wetting the yarn and the wool in water in the kitchen sink, I dissolved alum and cream of tartar in hot water: 4 ounces alum + 4 tsp. cream of tartar in 1 pint of HOT water for each pound of wool (dry weight). I poured the mordant into a 30 quart enamel canning vessel filled with water. I added the wool to the water and brought the heat up to simmer. It simmered for an hour and I left the wool in the mordant overnight to cool.

I purchased ground madder root from the Mannings, East Berlin PA. I used 8 ounces madder to 1 pound dry weight of wool (24 ounces total). I soaked the madder overnight in an enamel spaghetti pot. While the yarn was heating the mordant bath, I brought the madder to what I thought would be a simmer. It boiled over (which may be one of the reasons for the coral color). I let it cool over night.

The next day I strained out the madder bits. I removed and rinsed the wool from the mordant bath and set it aside. I washed my canning vessel carefully and poured in the dyebath with enough water to cover the yarn and wool. I carefully added the yarn and wool. I brought it up to a simmer, stirring and poking occasionally with a stick. I let it simmer for an hour and let the yarn cool in the bath overnight.

I removed the yarn and wool from the bath, rinsed and dried it the next day.

Queen Anne’s Lace dyed yarn and fiber

Queen Anne’s Lace Proportions/Process:

2 pounds, 12 ounces yarn in 2 yard skeins; 4 ounces wool in roving form
(in case of under estimation of needed yardage for the weft)

While wetting the yarn and the wool in water in the kitchen sink, I dissolved alum and cream of tartar in hot water: 4 ounces alum + 4 tsp. cream of tartar in 1 pint of HOT water for each pound of wool (dry weight). I poured the mordant into a 30 quart enamel canning vessel filled with water. I added the wool to the water and brought the heat up to simmer. It simmered for an hour and I left the wool in the mordant overnight to cool, rinsed it and put eh that skeins into the refrigerator to keep them moist without mildewing until I was ready for them.

I collected the Queen Anne’s Lace from a vacant lot within walking distance of my home. I shook off the beetles and processed the plants fresh. I used a mini-chopper (like a small food processor) to chop the stems and flowers to small bits dumping them into the canning vessel. I covered the plant bits with water and brought the temperature up to a boil for an hour. I let it cool overnight.

The next day I strained out the plant bits with the help of my husband. I added the wool and more water until the yarn could float freely. I brought it up to a simmer, stirring and poking occasionally with a stick. I let it simmer for about 15 minutes before I removed all the yarn from the bath, rinsed and dried the skeins in the sun. The color was so bright! It brightened even while drying!

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