Name
Bundle Dyeing with Food Waste (NEW!)
Date
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Time
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Photos

Session Type:
2-Hour Class
Skill Level:
All Levels Welcome
Teacher:
Anne-Marie Kavulla
Category
Dyeing
Class Details:

Join Anne-Marie Kavulla of Pirtti as we bundle dye yarn with materials found in your kitchen and compost bin. Bundle dyeing is a low-commitment, low-waste way to apply color by pressing natural dye materials into fiber and gently steaming. We will be using what are called compost dyes, which are food waste items that make excellent dye, such as onion skins, pomegranate rinds, and avocado skins and stones. All that is required is a prepped skein of natural wool, cheesecloth, kitchen twine, and lots of food waste.

Homework:

Before class, it is important to scour your yarn. Clean yarn will give the best results. This step can be completed anytime before the workshop, though if down to the wire, try to do the day before so there is ample time to cool down overnight. If not doing the mordant step, focus on onion skins and pomegranates, as they contain tannin, which will bond to the wool regardless of mordant. Although optional, mordant always helps make colors brighter and last longer.

Scouring Your Yarn

You Will Need:
4 ounces/100 grams natural wool (any light-colored undyed animal fiber will work)
Woolwash (such as Orvus paste, Eucalan, etc.)
Non-reactive pot large enough to allow the skein to move freely
Heat source (stove top or hot plate)
Extra bowl or bucket
Measuring cup or ball jar
Measuring spoons or scale
Water

Please read the label of your yarn or weigh in case you need to make any adjustments either with the amount of scour or with the optional mordant.

1. While collecting materials, put your yarn to soak in a clean bowl or bucket of tepid water.
2. Fill a non-reactive pot with tepid water and place on the stove.
3. Measure ½ teaspoon wool wash into the pot and stir. If using a scale to measure, the amount of woolwash is determined by the weight of fiber. In this case, we are using 2% woolwash to 100g of fiber. You will need 2 grams of woolwash. Adjust for your skein of yarn if needed.
4. Add wet fiber. Slowly bring temperature to just under a simmer (180°F). Stir gently once in awhile, being careful not to tangle or agitate the wool.
5. Keep at this temperature for 30 minutes. Once complete, let the yarn cool over several hours. (Overnight is fine.)
6. Being mindful to not drastically shift water temperature (that will cause the wool to felt), rinse the yarn in a clean bucket. Squeeze out excess moisture and lay flat to dry, or move on to mordanting or dyeing. Repeat step 6 if the water is very dark after scouring.

Mordant Your Yarn (Optional)

You Will Need:
4 ounces/100 grams scoured, natural wool (Any light colored, undyed animal fiber will work.)
Alum (Potassium aluminum sulfate, which can be found in some grocery stores or online.)
Cream of tartar (Optional, helps brighten colors and maintains softness.)
Non-reactive pot with lid, large enough to allow the skein to move freely
Heat source (Stove top or hot plate.)
Extra bowl or bucket
Measuring cup or ball jar
Measuring spoons or scale
Water

Although we are using food-safe items, best practicies include a face mask and gloves when working with powders, and ventilation such as a cracked window or exhaust fan for the entire process.

1. While collecting materials, put your yarn to soak in a clean bowl or bucket with tepid water.
2. Fill a non-reactive pot with tepid water and place on the stove.
3. In a separate measuring cup, measure 2 tablespoons of alum and 1 heaping teaspoon of cream of tartar. Add warm water and stir. If using weight measurements, the ratio is 15% alum to the weight of the fiber and 6% cream of tartar to the weight of fiber.
4. Add mordant mixture to the pot of water and stir.
5. Add wet fiber to the pot and slowly bring the heat up to just below a simmer (aproximately 180°F). I like to keep a lid on at this point, slightly ajar.
6. Keep the fiber at this temperature for an hour, occasionally giving a gentle stir.
7. Turn off the heat and let the fibers cool completely, up to 24 hours.
8. Rinse in a clean bucket and squeeze out excess moisture. Proceed to dyeing or lay flat to dry for future use.

Supplies for Class:

1 skein animal fiber such as wool or alpaca.
Alum and cream of tartar (optional mordanting before the class).
Cheesecloth or clean cotton scrap fabric (approximately 15 x 30").
Cotton twine or rubber bands.
Clean work surface.
Pot with lid that fits with a steamer basket (a colander will work in a pinch).
Heat source.
White vinegar (optional).

Start collecting your dye stuff as soon as possible! The amounts listed are recommendations, more is always better, but less will work too.
Red onion skins (½ veggie bag or 30g)
Yellow onion skins (½ veggie bag or 30g)
Rinds from 2-3 pomegranates (rinse and dry, be careful to add airflow as they can mold)
Skins and stones from 3-4 avocados (clean and store in the freezer until a few hours before dyeing)
Teas such as hibiscus, black, or chamomile
Tip: Most grocery stores are happy to give you loose skins from the onion bin!