Dyeing with Red Cabbage
Last autumn, for the first time I obtained a gentle purple colour using Blackberries to dye cotton and wood. Then by applying the iron soup, the colour turned a beautiful dark grey.
Lately I tried red cabbage. The dye vat was a wonderful dark purple and I’ve been very happy with the result. I tried it on cotton fabric and wooden beads. The colour is a purple shade very closed to the Blackberries one. Of course, I wanted to try the iron soup to modify and what a wonderful surprise : Blue !
Blue is a rare colour in the world of plant dye.
I mentioned in a previous article that a lot of factor have to be considered when you dye with plants. One of them is the nature of your fibre and I got an obvious evidence here. While the fabrics and beads were drying after their Iron soup bath, the fabric turned greyish whereas the beads kept their colour.
Here is a good example that the recipe and the method can be adapted, improved, transformed. I have in mind 2 tips to obtain again a blue shade that will last on the fabric:
1- I soaked another piece of purple fabric in the Iron soup solution but this time I rinsed it immediately after and repeated the operation. Then I took care to let it dry in the shadow. Once dry the colour is more blue than grey, there is an obvious difference.
2- fabrics and beads were mordanted with alum. As I received my order of soya bean, I will try again with this mordant and observe what is happening. This will be for a future article.