Natural Dye – Woad

An index card on a white table. The information for the woad dye is handwritten in blue ink.
An index card on a white table. On the left is handwritten the continued woad notes in blue ink. On the right are 4 yarn samples stapled to the card. The BFL, BFL tweed, and mint yarns are off white slightly tinted light blue. The cotton yarn is a bright white.

Note: Late, I learned that laundresses used to use a little bit of woad or indigo on white linens and cottons to brighten whites.

BFL Yarn- BFL Tweed Yarn – Mint Yarn – Cotton Yarn

Woad cont.

Notes –

  • Fabric previously dyed with turmeric changed to pink, but back to yellow with washing.
  • Not enough pigment to overdye fabric.
  • Not enough pigment to overdye onion/avocado sugar cane or mullein bamboo.
  • Bare yarns hold some blue, but not saturated.

Woad grown in garden

Harvested and reduced per 8/24/19.

8/31/19 –

11:53 am – 2 gal cold water in bucket. Heat 1/2 gl + add. pH 6 + 3 tbsp soda ash, pH = 10

12:09 pm – 1/2 gal water add (pH10)

12:30 pm – Add 1 tsp thiox to woad stock heated

12:45 pm – Jar color change complete. Remove 1/2 water from bucket to be heated on the grill.

1:08 pm – Hot water to bucket (pH10). 1 tsp thiox.

1:23 pm – Added jar stock to bucket, wait 15 minutes.

1:54 pm – 1 tsp thiox to 2nd jar stock.

2:20 pm – Add recharge to bucket.

2:35 pm – Dye. 4 minutes – mint. 2 minutes – sugar cane. 2 minutes – cotton + linen (2nd). 2 minutes – bamboo. 2 minutes – previously dyed fabric turmeric.

Dry, wash until water runs clear, dry again.

4-5 minutes per sample. 3 previously yellow cotton + linen, 1 cotton yarn, 1 BFL tweed yarn, 1 BFL