Colour is everywhere. Colours can change our moods, build our personalities and can tell a story. Colours can be used in cooking, clothing and in our homes. Nature has colour and seeing the leaves change colour during the year on beautiful trees are just one way nature can show us her beauty.
There are a range of beautiful yarns dyed here at the witches cottage which use nature’s natural items or safe dyes which are from modern alchemy. Every item for sale will be listed in the shop.
Historically colour has its own story and more information can be found here.
Magic and colour work together and for more on colour magic then do have a look in the blog sections for various ramblings on using colours in magic.
There are many ways to dye textiles and different techniques have been used over time and have varied from country to country. This has been because of resources or as and when different inventions were found. There are various ways to dye but as a home independent hand dyer there are two main methods most often used.
Acid Dye or Natural Dyes
Acid dyes uses dye pigments which are then set in place by the use of an acid of some form. Citric acid or white vinegar are popular choices for home dyes. Acid has a low PH level and sodium chloride controls the uptake of the dye so the more acid the more of the sodium chloride dilutes giving more vibrant colours.
Acid dyes are very effective on protein fibres like wool and silk and also can be used on synthetic nylon. They are not effective on cotton which is dyed using Vat dyeing methods.
Natural dyes come from the natural world and use plants, minerals and even some invertebrates. The plant parts that can be used are the berries, bark, leaves, flowers, woods, fungi and some lichens. Onion skins are also great for dyeing with.
This is the oldest form of dyeing and has been traced back thousands of years with the format being mostly the same.
Dye substance is added to a pot, the textile added and then its heated until the colour has taken on to the textile. You can cold dye as well but this like heated dye depends on substance used, textile and the use of a mordant.
A mordant is used in the natural dye process to bind the colour onto the textile and includes alum, tannin found in oak galls and in the early time ammonia which came from stale urine. You could sell your urine to a dyer buy letting them empty your pisspot… unless you were too poor then you had not a pot to piss in.
Status of a wearer was shown through colour as well by the dye process as if rich enough and had enough time you could spend money to get more exclusive dyes but most people just had to make do with what they had in their local areas. As travel and industry changed more colours are dyes and methods were gained and now can include
Batik technique with or without wax
Painting with dyes
VAT dyeing for uses with cotton, wool or leather
Bengala mud dyeing
There is also a rise in the movement of botanical printing.
In the SHOP section you will find at times different dyed products and equipment so please do look around.
A dedicated blog about dye techniques is also available with new information added so please sign up to the newsletter which will inform you of any changes
Please contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information if needed.