Day one of the work at Earthues began with discussions about the importance of fiber preparation when working with natural dyes. First and foremost is the scouring process. Of course it is imperative with raw fibers but even when you think your prepared yarns are clean they still carry residue and need a thorough scouring before mordanting. Mordanting is the second and equally important step to insure that the fibers will ultimately accept the dyestuffs and at their richest potential.
As usual once the work begins I forget to take pictures of our progress. There are 15
of us this year, a full house to be sure. And I must say what could be a crowded nightmare is really a cohesive group, all easily fitting into the space with ease. Here we are working through painting palettes for some handpainted yarns. We basically took eight dyes and applied them to strands from four different yarns; a mohair cotton eyelash, a high end silk, a wool/alpaca and a superwash wool. Then we could see the interaction between the dyes and the substrates for our chosen palettes.
We broke for some great food in and around Ballard. And again for dinner before returning at 7PM for a lecture with Michele on the environmental considerations when using natural dyes. A full day and the first of three, plus a half day Friday. I will try better to get more pictures of the work we are doing today!