Yet another installment of Dyeing with household items...
We had a bag of leftover, quite freezerburnt blueberries left in the back of the deep-freeze... so I thought hey, since we wouldnt be eating them, why not try out their dark purpley goodness for dyeing!
I unfortunately did not measure anything.... I think I had about 2 cups of frozen berries. I basically defrosted them at room temperature, then added about 2 cups of water and then gently simmered in a heavy bottomed pot for about an hour. I squished the berries with a wooden spoon to help all the color come out.
I actually had considered blending it, but decided against it last minute (nightmares of tiny pieces of blueberry skin all over my nice Polwarth top) I wasn't sure if Blueberry dye required acidity to set, so I added about 3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice, since I had some in the fridge anyways. To be honest, the kitchen smelled very much of blueberry pie. I seriously had to fight the urge to go out and buy a pie and decimate it.
About 30 minutes into the simmering process, the water level looked low, so I added about another cup of water.
To drain the blueberries, I scooped them up into a metal sieve and squeezed as much juice as possible out with the back of a spoon. I ended up with approximately 1.5 cups of very dark Purple/Black looking liquid (and about a half a cup of blueberry mush) Looking at the colour of the liquid in the glass, I wasn't sure if I would en up with a more reddish dye than purple. You can see around the edges where the light shines through the glass it looks almost vibrand red, with almost no blue in it.
I pre-soaked about 1.5 ounces of Polwarth super soft roving/top by soaking in warm water and lemon juice for about an hour, then squeezed out the excess water and layed it out in a glass pyrex dish in a single layer. Then I poured the dark liquid over the wool and gently swirled the dish to mix. Surprisingly, once poured over the wool, the dye looked less red that I had imagined it would. Notice the little bits of blueberry shrapnel in the wool. I was very pleased that those bits rinsed away in the wash
I then covered the glass dish with plastic wrap, and nuked in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes, followed by resting for about 2 minutes. I repeated about 6 or so cycles, swishing the wool around every so often so the dye would take more often. I would estimate the wool stayed hot enough (just below boiling) for about 60 - 90 minutes. Next I let it cool and soak in its juice overnight before rinsing in the sink in lukewarm water.
The resulting colour was quite a medium dusty purple! after carefully wringing out the excess water and rolling in an old towel... the wool dried overnight, and I got this:
And it looked so good with the tea dyed wool from the other day... I had to braid them together!
Hmmmm... all this talk of pie and tea... making me HUNGRY! gotta go!