Tuesday, October 28, 2014

- Love potion #9: Red onion and alum

Note: that wonky bit of weaving is from Jude's Considering Weave workshop

I'm thinking if I document my dyeing trials online I'll be less apt to open the canning jars before their time. So for the record, here's what I put into canning jar #9:

  • 1 tsp. alum dissolved in hot tap water
  • 4 used tea bags in the bottom
  • 8 pieces of muddy dyed linen wrapped around slices of a tiny red onion
  • 1 piece of muddy dyed linen wrapped around dry red onion skins
  • 4 used tea bags in the top
  • Boiling tap water to fill
  • 1 limestone rock and 1 block of wood to compress
  • Cap loosely and put in the sun
I can't possibly wait two whole weeks, so I'm scheduling this one to be opened in ten twelve days on November 9th.

Addendum: And what if I added a limestone rock and a block of wood to compress the contents? What alchemical magic might ensue?


Mo Crow said...

thank you for sharing the details!

Liz Ackert said...

Purely selfish on my part ... if I don't put them in the blog I'm sure to lose them ;)

Marti said...

When I dye with red onions, I use the skins and get mostly good results (translate- that means that I get green that elusive and so wanted color) because I add a splash of vinegar and cook in a copper pot, let it cool overnight and then transfer to a glass jar if I want to see if I can get more color; it all depends on the water. grace mentioned chemicals in water, well yes, they play a big part. I've never used distilled water but have used rain water. Have gotten solid greens, verdigris green from the copper pot and green markings if I decided to tear up the skins and place them on a cotton cloth and bundle.

With tea I've found that spent tea bags give me fainter browns so I usually go with fresh tea bags, cheap black tea ones. Why I wouldn't think of using my Irish, British or Scottish tea unless I had already used them up in a cup...!

Liz Ackert said...

I'm inhaling the details and plan to take full advantage of whatever you share ... so many things to try! But as I just replied on "Meet the beetles" I can never have too much green, so the experiments will continue ...

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

green from red onions????? I've made a note

Liz Ackert said...

Interestingly, I used a variety of red onion skins collected over time (the grocery store clerks give me strange looks when I bring a bag of onion skins weighing in at 2 cents to the register). Unfortunately, when I got both green and rust colors, I had no way of knowing which varieties of onions yielded which colors. Not that it matters ... the colors meld beautifully.