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 Dyeing Discussion
 Dyeing Basics
 Cabbage cabbage everywhere
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Chatty Knitter

329 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2006 :  6:58:15 PM  Show Profile Send quirky a Private Message
I have a bird that loves red cabbage. But she only eats a few ounces off a head. Thats a waste of 2 to 3 lbs cabbage every week or so! I am going to try using the cabbage for dye.
I read that cabbage dyes react differently to how acidic the water is. Obviously this means one can vary the ph of the water for different colors.

I am facinated by this and was wondering if anyone here has any first hand experience. What additive did you use and what color did you obtain?

Seriously Hooked

968 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  06:38:12 AM  Show Profile Send flutebabe a Private Message
Well, I Googled and came up with the following images. Each image mentions the natural dyestuff and the additive. Not sure if it is any help, but it is kind of interesting to look at:

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Permanent Resident

2373 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2006 :  07:55:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
What a great site! Thanks for the link.

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New Pal

40 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  07:54:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit maggiemae's Homepage Send maggiemae a Private Message
Wow, that is a great site, thank you! How did the cabbage experiment go, did you try it? I have some boiling to dye right now.....

I dyed with annato seeds last night - gorgeous deep orange/yellow color, no mordant required. cool!


I know that I am in the wrong universe, because where/somewhen, I am recieving a backrub, and it is not here/now. - Ken Comer
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Seriously Hooked

635 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  1:51:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momo's Homepage Send Momo a Private Message
Cabbage "juice" can be used as a pH indicator. It should be purplish-red as a neutral solution. If you add acid to it (vinegar, lemon juice) then it will turn red (how red depends on how acid). If you mix it with something basic (baking soda, ammonia) it will turn greeny.

I did a fun arts and crafts project where I soaked sheets of paper in cabbage solution and then let the kids "paint" with lemon juice and a baking soda solution.

This could be a really fun experiment to do for hand painting yarn. If you soaked the hank in the neutral solution you could change colors on part of the yarn by painting it with different pH solutions. What could you do to make it stay that way?



My Blog and FOs
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Chatty Knitter

265 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2006 :  5:16:05 PM  Show Profile Send ForestBird a Private Message
Yes, but how permanent would a cabbage dye be, what with washing and wearing and sweating and all? Even if one washed carefully with gentle soap, some dye will invariably wash away rather quickly I should think. Not a problem if your project is going under glass and protected from exposure to sunlight. Even if you just use it for a handbag, the sweat and oils on one's hands might interact unfavorably.

That's the inherent problem with natural dyes...

"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern."
Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues (1954)
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Chatty Knitter

329 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2006 :  08:03:38 AM  Show Profile Send quirky a Private Message
I havent actually used my cabbage dyed yarn for anything. I was a bit disapointed with the color. It came out about the color of bandaids - but the stretchy cloth kind, not the plastic kind.
It is not really ugly - just not what I wanted. If I were feeling kind I might say it is "shell pink" or more poetically, "sugar tan". And then there is the spinning. lol This is seriously overspun stuff.
I have not done any testing of wash or light fastness.
But it could still be a useful dye for tapestry and other items that do not get a lot of handling.
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Chatty Knitter

329 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2006 :  08:08:20 AM  Show Profile Send quirky a Private Message
charc - you got me thinking about that yarn. I pulled it out and tested it, I wasnt sure if the color would be affected by acidity or not. I am happy to say that at full strength vinegar did not affect the color. I am letting a sample sit with the vinegar on it for a while. Several hours. We shall see if there are changes later :D
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