Bright red with madder

We have gotten questions about how we manage to get such bright red color with madder on wool. We thought we would should share the recipe that works for us.

100%! We use as much madder as the weight of the goods we dyes. If we dye 100g of goods (goods = yarn or fabric) then we use 100g of madder.
In order to get a good color, you need to plan your dyeing.

1. Good madder-  buy madder that is powdered. It simply gives more colour than the cut root pieces. There will be a lot to clean up, but it’s SOOO worth it.

2. Soak the madder in lukewarm water. A minimum is 24h. If possible, let your madder soak for 3 days. It can go moldy but this does not affect the color. However, be careful not to inhale the mold spores. Soaking over time can start a fermentation and then the colour will get a more cold red tone and pull more towards the blue direction. Do not filter  off the bath, keep everything in the dye bath. Also add one beer to the soaking bath. If you like you can also have a beer to drink. 

3. Mordant. We use only alum as a mordant. 30% of the weight of the goods. Pre mordanting is the thing, don’t put dyestuff and mordant in the same bath, this will dull the colour.

The dyeing
1. Insert the soaked madder solution and your gods into the dye bath. Heat slowly up to 68-69 degrees. Maintain this temperature for at least 2-3 hours. Stir frequently. The madder powder sinks to the bottom of the tub! It will also get stucked in “pockets” in your fabric.

2. Let the goods cool down in the bath, preferably overnight- but watch out for pockets!! 

3. Take up the goods. Shake out excessive madder back into the dye bath.

4. Allow the goods to dry before washing.

5. Shake the dried goods to get rid of your madder powder. We usually do this over a big plastic sheet. Preferably outdoors! Make sure to cover your mouth and nose. It’s dusty!! The madder is put back in the dye bath.

6. Rinse the gods until the rinsing water is clear. 

Use the dye bath for the after bath. You can dye as long as you think it gives color. A lightly dyed fabric and be over dyed with a fresh madder bath, starting with a apricot dyed fabric, instead of a white, will give you a stronger red.

Happy dyeing!! 
/ Amica and Maria

 

Advent calendar December 24 2019

Today, 24th of December, we celebrate Christmas ( Jul) in Sweden.
That means this is the last calendar post. We hope that you have enjoyed this years calendar and that you have seen things that you haven’t seen before.

Todays post is a Swedish embroidery. Wool on linen. Dated mid 15th century.

We have analysed the embroidery and a full report will come soon.

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!
/ Amica and Maria

Photo: Historical Textiles- please cred if sharing.

Advent calendar December 21 2019

Today we travel to the north of Sweden. All the way up to Resele church in Ångermanland. The medieval church was demolished 1841 when the new church was built. Today’s textile is an antependium from the old church.

It’s a wool weave and it has got one warp system and two weft systems.
The birds are a common motif during the later part of the Middle ages and the antependium is dated 1350-1500, it is dated by style.

The textile is part of the collection at Historiska Museet in Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing

Advent calendar December 20 2019

The Fogdö embroidery is made with long armed cross stitches. It’s dated to early 16th century.

St George is often depicted in late medieval art. Here we can see George with a lovely jousting shield fighting the dragon with a very long sword… The embroidery is very well preserved, but on some places you can see that the wool yarn have worn off and the tabby linen weave is exposed.
Today it is found in the collections of Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing 

Advent calendar December 15 2019

Plant dyed fade over time. The more light they are exposed to the faster the fading goes. What was dyed on a large scale in historical times was wool and silk. Linen is difficult to dye, unless it’s blue.

Sometimes you are lucky and can see the backside of an old textile. The backside have often been protected from light and are therefore of stronger colours then the front side.

Here- a gilded leather embroidery dated to mid 15th century. Skokloster 2, today in the collections of Historiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden. To the right you can see the front, and in the middle the backside. Compare and see for yourself.

Advent calendar December 6 2019

The 6th calendar post is applications on the Dalhem 2 embroidery. The M is in fine linen and the boarder is in a fairly thick wool.

Dating late 15th early 16th century.

In the collections of the Historical museum, Stockholm, Sweden

/ Amica and Maria

Photos: Historical Textiles- pease cred us if sharing

A glove from Kalmar

We would like to wish you all a happy weekend with a glove from medieval Kalmar, Sweden. It was found in Slottfjärden, the castle bay, during the cleaning of the bay in 1932-34.

The glove is made in nålbinding/ needlebinding technique. The yarn is wool and might be mixed with some fibres from cow or/ and goat. We can’t tell what stitch that have been used. And we are more then happy to take new close up photos if anyone might have a good eye for analyzing stitches.

The yarn is two plyed. The dating of the glove is “medieval”- possibly 13th- late 15th century. 

Today the glove is in the collections of Historiska museet in Stockholm.

Sorry for posting an old photo from the database, but we have misplaced our photos of the glove. We will add them when we find em again.

/ Amica and Maria

Advent calendar December 22th 2018

Our twenty-second advent calendar post is a detail from a gilded leather coverlet from Dalhem church, Småland, Sweden. This one is called Dalhem 2 since the church have got not only one but two coverlets connected to the church.

We would like you to look at the fabrics. The hard spun warp on the red fabric ( shows horizontal on the picture) and the thicker weft. And on the white fabric, that has got a z- spun warp and s-spun weft- giving a very dense look of the fabric. It gives sometimes a visual look of knitting when seen from the diagonal.

They piece is dated to late 15th early 16th century. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Dalhem 2