Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Annatto Seed Recipe

This dye material will give you an orange to orange/red color without any mordants or modifiers.

The Recipe:

  1. Add 1 gal of water to your dye pot, 1 or 2 tbs of water softener (I'm using Calgon for this) and 2 tsp of washing soda bring to a boil;
  2. Add another gal of water to the dye pot, so that you will have a 2 gal dye pot;
  3. Add 1/2 cup of Annatto seeds to the dye pot (depending on how dark you want the dye 1 cup might be better - also remember you are first putting these in a nylon stocking before adding them to the dye pot);
  4. Bring the dye pot to a boil and boil for 1 hour;
  5. Add 1 coil of cane and boil for another hour (I washed my cane off before hand, so that it was also wet when added to the dye pot);
  6. Remove from the heat after 1 hour and you can either remove the cane from the dye pot, depending on how dark you want it or leave the cane over night in the dye pot. I left mine in the dye pot over night.

This dye material can also be done in a cool or room temperature dye pot without using heat but you would need to soak the Annatto seeds over night. This particular dye material does not need a mordant, however, sources say that adding a couple of teaspoons of vinegar to the rinse water after dyeing will give you a salmon color. I did not do anything to the cane before putting it into the dye pot except rinse it in a mild (PH) dish soap.

The photo at the bottom is the dyed cane after taking it from the dye pot and is still wet. The photo at the top is the dried cane. This is really a nice color of red/orange. I did not grind the seeds for this batch but next time I will try grinding them before adding them to the dye pot which may yield more color and will try it with 1 cup of Annatto seeds to see what result I get. This however, really looks like Blood Root when dry, amazing.

When grinding seeds or other dye material a small coffee grinder can be used. They are rather inexpensive and can be found at most stores like K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Target. This is a handy gadget for the home dyer.

To see this dye in a woven basket - PHOTOS

1 comment:

Jenessa R. McEwan said...

Thank you for the great information. :-)