My Dyed Linen Scrolls Progress Report

Here is the center piece of my first dyed scroll. In previous posts recently I’ve told about dyeing linen fabrics with 3 tannins (myrobalan, Brugueira, and quebracho) before mordanting with alum before dyeing with onion skins or black walnut dye. Sometimes I only used the tannins after-mordanted with alum and no dye. Sometimes I used an iron or copper afterbath. That means with 9 different fabrics I ended up with a lot of swatches too good to just go into a notebook.

I featured the swatches on the background cloths I dyed a week or so ago for my scrolls. Here is the first one. The pieces are only based in place. They came from two dye baths: myrobalan, alum, walnut and myrobalan, alum, onion with iron afterbath. The different fabrics took the dye deliciously different I think.

Here is the whole scroll. The background is dyed with myrobalan, alum, and onion skins. The linen fabrics ironed beautifully but wrinkled when I manhandled it. When I’ve made final decisions, I’ll do a good ironing with my wrinkle releaser and it should be beautiful. As of now, I’m not exactly sure of the dimensions and exact placement. The swatches can be exchanged around, too.

Here’s how I handled the black marks made from the safety pins during dyeing. I folded the pieces anyway I could so the marks wouldn’t be on the right side. The seam could hit anywhere in the back or on a side. You can see the mark on this one on the upper right

4 thoughts on “My Dyed Linen Scrolls Progress Report”

  1. Gorgeous, as usual. Those swatches are fascinating. I agree that the dimensions of the background aren’t quite right yet. Wish I could come see this in person.

  2. Beautiful! I love the playfulness of this whole project and love following along! My next question of curiosity would be how light-fast these dyes are? Will they get bleached out by sunlight? I live in the high desert, so this is a persistent question for any fiber work I do. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for your comment. I was afraid no one liked my project. Yes, it’s playful. I did pre mordant with tannins, and mordant with alum before dyeing. Since it’s playful, I’m not worrying any more than that about lightfastness. I agree, you do have a situation to be careful about. Can you do any natural dyeing I wonder.

      • I have, ages ago, done natural dyes. When I was an undergrad majoring in paper making, I was looking fan an alternative to the rather toxic dyes being used in the studio, so looking to nature was a logical choice. I remember being fascinated with all the discoveries! As I said, ages ago. I do remember falling in love with the buttery yellow I got from dying cotton fibers with mullein. The only mordant I remember using was urea and I think it was a dried powder (maybe cow ironed?).


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