Saturday, October 18, 2008

Black walnut dyeing

Black walnut husks make a very strong dye, and I wanted to try it on some yarn. Luckily, my parents have some majestic black walnut trees on their place (above). The nuts fall to the ground (below), which make them easy to harvest.

I used a piece of wood to separate the husks from the nuts, then put the husks into enough water to cover them (below), and let that soup sit outside for a couple days.

Then I strained out the bits and pieces of the husks, and put in the yarn. I put one skein in for 24-hours, and it turned a darker golden brown. The second skein was put in for shorter times - dyed so it would be self-striping. From doing a little research on black walnuts, some folks recommend heating the dye, but I dyed these outside in a bucket and it seemed to work well.