Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Spinning and Dyeing at Historic Sites

Wow, I've been very lax about posting! I have been writing this post in my head for weeks, but am finally getting down in print.

In late October we went to the Bolton Historic Site's fall rendezvous. We set up a "store front" so I could get some pictures and, hopefully, sell a little yarn.
What great fun it was to spin on my antique wheel in 18th century clothing while talking to people about fiber! I sold a decent amount of fiber, considering I really wasn't trying, and made contact with someone from the spinning group that meets at the Daniel Boone Homestead. I have been trying to get in touch with that group for a while but not having any luck.

The next weekend we went to Historic Londontown in Edgewater MD and I dyed some yarn with cochineal and weld. I really wanted to experiment with 17th and 18th century techniques over a wood fire.
I forgot the cream of tartar at home so the cochineal came out more purple and the weld was very subtle. But the two colors look nice together.

I have been researching more period texts on dyeing and have found a couple from the late 18th century. The Country Dyer's Assistant from 1798 and The Dyer's Assistant in the Art of Dying Wool and Woolen Garments... from 1800 are fascinating reads. I also purchased Organic Fiber Dyeing: The Colonial Williamsburg Method helpful in dyeing larger quanities. Most of their recipes call for Glaubers Salts and I haven't found any recipes of the period using salts in the dyebath. So more research to come.

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