|Pearl cotton over-dyed with black walnut; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013|
For six weeks I've been exploring the potential of natural dyeing with Black Walnut. At first I got a lot of deep browns and now, as the vat approaches being exhausted, I'm getting tans. At first I dyed with the 18 pounds of walnut hulls and set the 9 pounds of walnuts aside for eating. I let them dry for 5 weeks and then cracked 4 open with the help of our vise and toasted them. The smell was divine. The taste was disgusting. They tasted like what acrylic paint smells like. No worries, I was then free to use the walnuts in the dye vat.
Originally I was going to pass on using the walnuts since I read that they only yielded tan, and who wants that? To my surprise, tan is very useful for over-dyeing commercially dyed materials. Above are 5 skeins of pearl cotton over-dyed with a weak black walnut dye. My friend Michelle popped these into my mailbox last week and immediately I soaked them and plunked them into the dye vat encased in a mesh bag. If you look carefully, you'll see a small strand of each of the original colours. I can't wait to stitch with them.
|Linen napkins over-dyed with black walnut; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013|
|Cotton fabrics over-dyed with black walnut; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013|