Thursday, May 21, 2009


Spring is not complete without the great taste of rhubarb: pie, jello, crisp, jam . . .  doesn’t matter as long as it is rhubarb.


Recently, a very gracious neighbor shared her bountiful supply with us. Having recently seen somewhere that the leaves are good for dyeing wool, we requested the poisonous leafy tops be left on so we could shred them up and try our hand at dyeing. We ended up with 6 pounds of leaves.

After soaking them overnight we put them on the stove. The boiling leaves smelled very good, and turned into a spinach-like mush.


We tried 4 ounces of wool in one of the pots, (had to boil them in 3 different pots we had so many) simultaneously mordanting with alum and cream of tarter. Brought to 200 degrees for 45 minutes producing a kind of semi-pretty gold/yellow/green color not represented very well in the following picture:


Then for the last 15 minutes we added tin mordant which turned it a pretty bright yellow which is actually somewhere in the middle of the hues that the camera picked up in these two pictures.


Closest to this brighter color.


Which is really one of the prettiest yellows we have gotten from our natural dyes. We may just have to try this same process again.

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