I was really please to discover that the Sheepspot podcast is back to doing audio podcast releases! I went back to the oldest episode I had not yet listened to and Sasha discussed building a spinning library. She hihgly recommeneded SpinOff and said she really liked the direction it has gone in. So I thought I would check it out. Has anyone else ready the Spring/Summer 2021 issue?

I'm intrigued by the Rainbow Natural Dye Pot Article, starting on page 28. However I'm not sure I quite understand exactly how the layering works. She gives the layering order for the very beginning, but does not give a final example of layering. I think you end with dyestuff and the purpose of the cheese cloth is to lift the dye stuff off the dyed wool? I'm hoping someone here has already tried this and can answer my question. I'd also love to see your results!

Happy Spinnign and Weaving!


Erica J

Did anyone else read this article? Any thoughts?


My experience with vegetable dyes is that the color can be very dependant on where the leaves, bark, peels, etc. came from.  And it is quite easy to get a drab, muddy tan. While this multiple colors in one pot may work for these materials, it may not be reproduced with what you have.  I would try these materials seperately first to see what you actually get.  Honestly, I don't really see the point of the one pot, with all the layering and cheesecloth.  As an excersize, it could be interesting, but if the desired product is several different colors of wool,  separate dyebaths will work a lot better.

The purpose of the layering and cheesecloth is to try to keep the dyestuffs separate from each other and from becoming entangled in the wool.  So dyestuffs, wool wrapped in cheesecloth, dyestuff.  Usually you make the dye vat, remove the dyestuff, add the mordanted wool.

A different technique that can be very successful is to use several different mordants and then dye all the yarns in one dye vat.  You can get some very different or subtly different colors and shades the look wonderful together.

Erica J

Thanks for sharing your perspective Sandra. 

This is not something I would plan to do regularly, but think it would be interesting to try out. I think the reasoning behind it is to be abble to dye smaller lots of color while only preparing one dye bath. It's been a while since I read the article at this point. :)

I think you're right about the method of layering.

Have a great day!

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