Today I opened the first batch of fiber from my solar dying experiment. The results weren't quite as dramatic as I would have liked, but they were certainly educational.
This first offering comes from the turmeric jar. It did exactly what you would expect. Mostly. Mustard yellow in varying shades. I hadn't expected wee patches of that slightly peachy shade you can see in the middle. This will be interesting to spin up.
The fiber from the parsley jar has been a real challenge to photograph. It's actually a pale greeny yellow colour. This was a bit disappointing. The jar has been a lovely bright green all month, and I'd hoped the fiber would suck up more of the colour. Instead it looks like the fiber you find that's been attached to the fence for months where the sheep go for a scratch.
The red onion jar as a complete surprise. Last week I learned it's the skins only that make a reddy browny colour. I'd assumed this meant that the flesh wouldn't do anything at all. When this came out of the jar, those smudges of pink on the right were much darker. The yellow section had been right next to the flesh, and came out of the jar looking slime green. It was all very exciting.
Apparently I need to be adding alum and creme of tartar for more saturated colours. This batch had a 50/50 fiber to plant matter ratio. A greater volume of plant matter might work better. I think I probably need to layer the plant matter in with the fiber so the colour distributes more evenly. It may also be that the results improve as the days get warmer and the jars start to reach higher temperatures.
I am going to get these wee samples on the spinning wheel. And start hunting round for different plants to restock the dying jars. Any suggestions?