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Solar dyeing and Fika what’s not to like?

March 9, 2018

On the 2nd January 2018 I attended a free workshop with Oxford Spinners, Weavers and Dyers at Oxford Modern Art Gallery.  We learned the art and science (as much as you can in 2 hours including lovely fika) of solar dyeing.  We mixed mordanted fleece and spun wool with various concoctions, such as bark, leaves, nuts; items foraged in the garden during the previous week, in a screw top jar.  At home we added hot water and placed them on a sunny window ledge.  In the summer exposed to long stretches solar rays the procedure may only take a few days; in the winter it might take weeks even months.

While I do have a southwest facing bay window I didn’t hold much hope; but as the ingredients were beginning to look like unhealthy witch’s brew after two months I decided to take a look. After washing, drying and spinning I have a beautiful selection of colours to begin a weaving this afternoon.

I used madder and citrus with alum and iron, acorns with alum and iron, and mulberry bark with alum and iron

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