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 Dyeing Discussion
 Natural Dyes
 Onion Skins
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ForestBird
Chatty Knitter

USA
265 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2006 :  09:48:53 AM  Show Profile Send ForestBird a Private Message
I have been saving my onion skins for more than a year now. I have practically a full plastic shopping bag. How much onion skins for how much yarn? Should I boil skins fresh with yarn? Or make a "tea" with skins first, then add yarn?

And what kind of mordant is best and safest?

And maybe microwave the yarn afterwards to set the dye?

"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern."
Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues (1954)

MMario
Permanent Resident

2208 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2006 :  09:59:34 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
Most "recipes" for dyeing with onion skins have you make a dyebath by boiling* the onion skins and straining the result before adding the yarn. Most directions I've seen call for equal weights of yarn to onion skins - some call for double the weight of the yarn.

I have seen gold, tan, rust, green all claimed for onion skin dye. As far as I can tell - no mordant or per-mordanted with alum are the most common. Salt is frequently called for as a leveler during the dyeing process.

I don't think I've ever seen an onion skin "recipe" calling for any kind of vinager or ammonia rinse. since most call for you to simmer the yarn in the strained dye bath I don't think following it by a microwaving would be necessary.


* depending on the source I've seen this as everything from "boil 5 minutes" to "simmer 6-12 hours"

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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ForestBird
Chatty Knitter

USA
265 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2006 :  5:06:33 PM  Show Profile Send ForestBird a Private Message
MMario - you wrote: "As far as I can tell - no mordant or per-mordanted with alum..."

What is per-mordanted? Are you trying to tell me to add alum to the onion skin tea when adding the yarn?

As for amount of skins - yikes! Do you know how little onion skins weigh? I wonder if I even have an ounce in my whole shopping bag! But if it must be, then it must be. I'll have to get more

Maybe I could bribe the local grocery store owner to save me some. Or restaurant.

My funds are limited, as is my local library, so I appreciate your input.

Your answer seems to me as if you have not used onion skins to dye yarn as yet?

"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern."
Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues (1954)
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celia
Permanent Resident

Australia
2454 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2006 :  5:35:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit celia's Homepage Send celia a Private Message
i think that was 'pre-mornated'?


Read my blog, or buy my handdyed yarn and handmade stitchmarkers. Also destashing here.
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azknitter
Honorary Angel

5539 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2006 :  6:20:05 PM  Show Profile Send azknitter a Private Message
....pre-mordanted.

http://fibers.destinyslobster.com/Dyeing/dyebasics.htm

Trish
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MMario
Permanent Resident

2208 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  07:17:55 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
always pruf-red.

"pre-mordanted", yes -

premordanted would be when you use the mordant seperate from the dye bath - the wet, clean, yarn is soaked in the mordant solution prior to being entered into the dye bath. It is then sometimes dried, and re-wet before being put into the dye bath, and sometimes it is just transferred wet from the mordant bath to the dye bath.

Other times the mordant is added TO the dye bath. With some dyes this can result in colour changes, depending on the method, and with some dyes it can really effect the striking of the dye. so if you have the dye, the time, and sufficient fiber it can be very good to experiment.



MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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sarah@k_rev
Warming Up

67 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2006 :  7:42:09 PM  Show Profile Send sarah@k_rev a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ForestBird

MMario - you wrote: "As far as I can tell - no mordant or per-mordanted with alum..."

What is per-mordanted? Are you trying to tell me to add alum to the onion skin tea when adding the yarn?

As for amount of skins - yikes! Do you know how little onion skins weigh? I wonder if I even have an ounce in my whole shopping bag! But if it must be, then it must be. I'll have to get more

Maybe I could bribe the local grocery store owner to save me some. Or restaurant.




I dyed with onion skins many, many moons ago - and I still have the recipe. 1/2 teaspoon chrome, which was used as a mordant before dyeing. 1 oz onion skins to 4 oz yarn, and 4 pints water. The skins were first simmered for 30mins then the mordanted wool was added and simmered for another 30mins. (The recipe doesn't say to remove the skins before adding the wool - though iirc, it was a pretty nasty job washing the yarn clean).

I was in the Army at the time, and I got the Sergeant i/c the cookhouse to save all their onion skins for me - I very quickly had an enormous sack full ! So, yes, if you're friendly with a local restaurant, it helps !

Sarah
--
Sarah Durrant - Your Colinette Specialist
http://www.sarahdurrant.com
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