Bridget and her Dark Side Minions
minion
(plural minions)
Meaning: A loyal servant of another, usually more powerful being.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Gunnhild's latest adventures....




onion skin


egg


Due to seasonal requirements, I did some egg dyeing with onion skin (Picture egg). I do not know whether this is period. It is traditional anyway. BUT as I had gathered much more onion skin than I needed for some ten or twelve eggs, I decided to dye some silk yarn with the remaining onion skin which is definitely period. I have done some dyeing years ago, and I had kept the equipment and some colouring herbs since then. And these are the results (pic. onion skin): 1. Pre-treatment with alum and tartar, cooked in the dyeing water for about half an hour 2. Same as 1, but cooked for about one hour 3. Same as 1, but afterwards put into an iron mordant and potash afterwards. It looks like black on the picture, but it is a very dark brown. 4. Same as 1, but put into the dye bath in a second turn, so that the bath was not that strong any more 5. Same as 3, but also the second turn.
 




Madder


Madder (pic. madder):
The madder was soaked in water overnight and then heated and strained. For
the dyeing, only the coloured water was taken. 1. Pre-treatment with alum
and tartar, dyed in the colouring water with some talcum at a temperature
of about 60°C for about half an hour 2. Same as 1, but cooked for about
one hour. The yarn is thicker than the other, but it is also silk. 3. Same
as 1, but afterwards put into an iron mordant and potash afterwards. I did
never succeed to make a real red but only this apricot which by the way is
very nice. I had talked to Mistress Anya years ago, and she assumed that
the consistence of the water might be a problem, as she also did never get
a real red. Therefore the try with the chalk, which did not work. I also
talked to Baroness Mechthild about that question, and she thinks that the
quality of the madder is crucial, as she had the same problems.





Alkanna

Alkanna (pic. Alkanna):
Alkanna has to be put into an alkoholic solution, and the dyeing has to be
done at about 80°C. I found out why, as it tends to start burning at
about 90°C if cooked on a gas oven with an open flame. So, in the first
solution I made the dyeing content was burnt and the silk was flambéed a
Little bit which did not affect it, but the colour was very weak. After
that, I made a second solution to get a more intense violet. So this is
seen on the Picture: 1. Pre-treatment with alum and tartar, in the first
dyeing solution, flambéed. 2. Same as 1, but the second turn with even
less colour left 3. Same as 1, but with a new dyeing solution, heated only
to 80°C. It looks black on the picture, but it is indeed a very intense
violet. 4. Same as 3, but the second turn with less colour left 5. Same as
4, but afterwards put into an iron mordant with potash afterwards. The
iron mordant has turned it into a grey with a violet shimmer.




Birchbark (pic. Birchbark):
The birchbark was soaking in water overnight and then cooked, afterwards
strained. For the dyeing, I took only the coloured water. 2. Pre-treatment
with alum and tartar, cooked for about one hour 1. Same as 2, but
afterwards put into an iron mordant with potash afterwards.

I dyed the silk yarn as I will do some Elizabethan multicolour embroidery
on a coif. Now I am still lacking a nice yellow and green, which I will
make from carrot leaves and tansy (which I have to wait for, as it is not
the season yet), red and blue have to be made from Cochenille and Indigo
(or woad) which I will have to purchase. So, some more experiments will
follow...

(Information taken from H. Schweppe: Handbuch der Naturfarbstoffe, Nikol
Verlag 1993)












Second Project: Coif (three Pictures attached)

The original is an unfinished coif made in the last quarter of the 16th
century (Carew Pole collection). It is made of dark blue silk on linen in
coral stitch, with gold yarn in double loop stitch only through the coral
stitch. To try this, I first made a sample with blue and black cotton yarn
and Coats Ophir artificial gold yarn. This sample is now a cutlery bag (no
picture taken). To get the right coif size, I made a pattern and made a
coif of white linen first. Now I am doing the embroidered coif with the
same pattern. I chose a black buttonhole silk which I had at home. For the
golden double Loop stitch, I took an artificial gold yarn. This yarn is
very thin, so that it is more discreet than the gold yarn of the original,
but it is shining in the light and thus highlights the embroidery very
nicely. And it is by far less expensive than real gold yarn, which is very
important as the double Loop stitch is very yarn-consuming, and I wanted
to have a coif I can wear on any event, without having to fear dirt of
fire or kitchen or else... Maybe I will put golden spangles on the coif in
the end. It cannot be proved for this coif, as the original was never
finished, but there are several coifs with golden or silver spangles so
that it might have been well possible that the original would have got
them too, if ever finished.

Third Project: Elizabethan jacket and skirt
As the parts are only cut and not sewn together, I did not make pictures
yet. The clothes will be made of dark blue Merino wool with edgings in
bright pink silk, with a bright pink linen lining. Pictures will follow
when the gown is finished.