Friday, 12 July 2013

The dyeing experiment is getting an add-on.

As you might know, the Textile Forum is a very experiment-friendly place. Last year, we had a little dyeing experiment looking at the influences of different metal kettles (simulated by metal plates in neutral pots) on dyeing, inspired by the question why the Romans in Pompeii had lead dye vats. (You can see pictures of the experiment, the dyed samples, and a poster of the preliminary results on the Forum's archive page, here.)

The experiment is now getting an add-on - a second test run, only with birch leaves as dye (due to time restrictions), but with the metal additions split between the mordanting only and the dyeing only. If all goes according to plan, it will be possible to see if there is more influence from the metal in the mordanting process or the dyeing process.

I have been preparing for this quite a bit already - the alum is ordered, the 80 m skeins are wound and tied off so they won't go knotty, and today will see my finishing off the outline and experiment plan. It takes a while to go through all this and type out, bit by bit and step for step, what is to do. But yay for a detailed plan like that - it's so helpful to have a sheet with the single steps all written out, and tables to put the measured values. Also helps a lot in making sure you don't forget to take a measurement, or a photograph.

And week after next will see the actual run of the experiment. I'm really looking forward to this!


Panth said...

It is a pity that the photos of the dye experiment are too small to read the text. I can't get the .pdf to work. :(

a stitch in time said...

Panth, thanks for the heads-up - I fixed the link (it was missing a path) and the pictures will now be enlarged if you click on them. Enjoy!