Adventures in Plant dyeing part 3

This week we came back to cochineal!  Cochineal are the little black bugs found on the prickley pear cactus

When you dry these bugs out and crush them up it makes a gorgeous magenta color.  You can change the color with different mordants.

All of the yarn started with an alum mordant.  In the picture below starting from the left you see cochineal with an iron after mordant as a deep burgandy.  Next is the cochineal with alum, followed by the cochineal with alum and cream of tartar which makes it a bit more red.   I then took one of our indigo skeins and dipped it in the cochineal and look at the amazing purple it gave us!

The rest of the skeins in the picture below are (in order) indigo, indigo and osage orange, osage orange second dye bath, osage orange first dye bath, avacado pits.

Right now we have some walnuts simmering on the stove and we hope to add a rich brown to the color palette.  Stay tuned!

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