Friday, August 11, 2006

The tools

This is a list of the tools you need for using natural dyes:

  1. An enamel dye pot - I use both the enamel and stainless steel dye pots - these are large stock pots that can be purchased in a variety of sizes from K-Mart or Wal-Mart - some people use one dye pot exclusively for the Walnut dye since it requires an Iron Mordant;
  2. Nylons - either panyhose or knee highs - I've found the knee highs work really well and will hold at least 1 cup of dye material leaving plenty of room to tie a knot at the top - this prevents your dye material from getting in the dye bath and eliminates straining the dye bath to remove the dye material;
  3. Measuring cups in various sizes;
  4. Measuring spoons in various sizes;
  5. Wooden spoons in various sizes - some folks use a set exclusively for Walnut dye
  6. Natural Dye material - Bloodroot, yellow onion skins, Walnut Hulls or Powder, these are the main materials I am presently using; any natural growing material has the potential of producing a natural dye; barks and berries are frequently used as well;
  7. Ordinary table salt;
  8. Water softener, if you have hard water in your area
  9. Some coils of commercial cane - these instructions will be for 2.5mm to 3.0mm of commercial cane, which weight about 1/2 pound each.

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