Tuesday, October 28, 2014

- Love potion #9: Red onion and alum


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?

6 comments:

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.