Wild Colours - Exciting colours from Natural Dyes
Dyeing with Logwood
You will find information on dyeing with logwood extract here.
Important: When dyeing wool with logwood chips it may help to mordant the wool using 22 grams of alum per 100 grams of wool instead of the usual 8 grams of alum per 100 grams of wool.
What you need to start:-
* Note: The reason I recommend using a plastic sieve rather than a metal one is because logwood reacts quickly with any rust that may be present in a metal sieve.
1) Soaking and boiling the logwood:-
2) Straining the logwood chips
You must remove the logwood chips before adding the fibre as the chips have small barbs that attach themselves to the fibre and would have to be carefully picked off one by one. To remove the chips, pour the contents of the saucepan through a plastic sieve, saving the liquid. (You can also save the chips by spreading them out to dry, as they can be reused several times.)
3) Dyeing the wool:-
For greys with logwood, mordant your wool with 22g of alum per 100g of wool, dye it pale violet with logwood and then follow the instructions for using iron as a modifier. Depending on the quantities used, you may get a blue rather than a grey.
I don’t recommended trying to get blacks on wool with logwood and iron, as a large amount of iron damages the wool. To dye wool black, it is better to dye it dark blue with indigo and then overdye it with madder and fustic. You could also try to dye a grey wool (e.g. Grey Shetland wool) with logwood to get black wool, or use wool from black sheep.
First you need to mordant your cotton either with the advanced method using aluminium acetate and tannin.
or mordant with the 3-step alum & tannin process.
For greys with logwood, dye your mordanted cotton pale violet with logwood and then follow the instructions for using iron as a modifier.
For blacks on cotton, dye your mordanted cotton dark violet with logwood and then follow the instructions for using iron as a modifier, but instead of a pinch of iron, use 15 grams of iron per 100 grams of cotton.
Getting blacks on cotton is an art. You may have to repeat the dyeing and adding iron to get a black. You may also like to dye your cotton with some fustic after dyeing it with logwood to get a more interesting black.
An alternative to using logwood for blacks is to dye your cotton dark blue with indigo, then overdye it with madder and fustic. Experiment with different proportions of dyes and iron, and keep a note of your results.
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Updated on 19 April 2021
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