Weekend dyeing days...

Posted by Zoe Fletcher on Thursday, September 16, 2010
After a lovely trip back home home to see my family and friends, I dived straight into my big task at hand - dyeing a more substantial lot of wool - ready to be knitted into colourful design pieces! I knew repeating the colours of natural dyeing was never going to be easy, but I did not estimate the sheer variation of colours I would get from the same measurements!

So as much as I tried to be positive, I am now slightly worried about time/colouring issues - with two full 12 hour days giving me just enough time to mordant and dye about 20 yarn hanks of 50g!...however I tried my best and some of the colours are starting to grow on me - for some reason the madder colourings came out very orangey with the water I was using, almost turning coral in the lighter shades!

I was also experimenting with dip-dyeing pre-knitted pieces, this worked well with the madder and onion skin, however the woad was slightly more temperamental as it layers itself on the outside scales of the wool  - so penetration was not flawless, however the effect is quite nice and I may experiment more (time permitting!) - I also had problems with the woad oxidising very fast - which was probably my fault, and got some unusual lilac tones!

Overall although not a completely satisfying experience, it was definitely a learning curve, and the colours will now influence the way I will put my collection together...


Zoe Grace Fletcher Currently undertaking a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University within the MIRIAD post-graduate department, I am beginning a practice based academic journey into British wool fibres and new technologies within knitwear design. Graduating with Distinction from a Masters in Fashion and the Environment at London College of Fashion, specialising in hand-knitting and the British Wool Industry, I have worked on a number of knitwear collections (personal and external companies), whilst freelancing and researching for a number of exciting projects. My work revolves around the idea of sustainable fashion from a knitted perspective and the different ways to achieve this incorporating the ideas of slow fashion into mainstream society. I love knitting. And wool. And double sided sticky tape.
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