Not Fade Away

Continuing adventures with alkanet: partial success. The color faded a lot as the skeins of yarn were drying/airing. I re-oiled a couple times, and after close to a month of airing, rinsed out the oil–which meant, more alkaline baths! This process has been very harsh on the fibers, especially the wool, which started to felt. I had two skeins of each fiber, so I gave half of them a vinegar soak. It did indeed shift the color back to red (well, since the dye had already faded so much, pink). Unfortunately, the pH change also seems to have made the dye even more fugitive! Here are the test skeins:

left to right: silk, wool, cotton; re-acidified and not
left to right: silk, wool, cotton; re-acidified and not

Part of the wool skein didn’t seem to get as much vinegar. It stayed more purple, and also retained more color. But they are all still very pale, and it was a lot of work for not much color in the end. I’d say it was most successful on the silk, but I think all the alkalinity would ruin the luster on a shinier silk than what I used here. I’ll cut short samples off each of these skeins, and then try overdyeing to see what happens. Maybe be able to get some greens and oranges?

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