22nd July 2021

So my plan fell at the first hurdle almost. My apologies to all of you who followed expecting a regular write up.

I have been doing many experiments with madder, but of course I was completely sidetracked by one of my ideas. I am writing this up slowly on another page and it will be available on this blog when all those particular experiments are finally finished. It is fairly self contained but still requires much dyeing before I will have any constructive results and relates to the preparation of the roots once pulled out of the ground. My thanks go to Susan Dye and Ashley walker of Natures Rainbow for supplying me with fresh madder.

I have still been following recipes from various dyebooks and will continue to do so over the next 12 months – I decided a while ago that as I will not be in receipt of a pension until I reach the age of 66 then celebrations should not be held until then – therefore this blog has until July 22nd 2022 to fulfil its duties ( that also means I can do some extra recipes too!)

The images at the top are some random upcycled clothes that I have acquired or bought in charity shops and decided to dye in madder – of course! I love the way the broderie anglaise on the blouse has been emphasised by the dye.

Cotton items were mordanted with aluminium acetate and woollen with alum and cream of tartar. I used 10% madder extract and threw them all in the bath together, scrumpled up because I wanted textured dyeing so I could decide whether to add more colour afterwards. Now I’m not sure I want to!

There is lots more to come, honestly!