Fustic is another tropical wood that we use the heartwood from to obtain color. The process is pretty simple – you take your wood shavings and soak them overnight in water (I soaked them a few days in a big canning jar). I used 2 ounces of fustic for this batch as I was doing all of my experimentation with woods using 2 ounces of dyestuff so I could then decide how much more or less I would need when working with it in the future. Here is what you have after soaking.
I then took this jar and put in in a pot with enough water to fill it and I started to heat it. Woods seem to me to be more sensitive to heat than other dye stuffs so unlike my earlier dyes, I kept the temperature at 150 degrees in my dye pot while extracting the dye.
The process was to heat the dye for about an hour then, using my stainless steel measuring cup, take the dye without the wood and put it in another pot, add more water to the pot with the wood and do it again until I had enough dye to do what I wanted. I could have done more with this wood so when I had enough dye, I took the remaining wood, put it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for the next time. (Another experiment).
Then I added my wet, alum mordanted wool.
Look closely at these naturally dyed wools. They are full of beautiful tonal varigations throughout that just happen naturally. Love it!!! There are no true “solids” – they all have soft color movement throughout the yarns.
Now, you may be thinking that this is a great color, but you don’t use yellow that much (foolish you – it is the color of sunshine and happy!!!). However, yellow is the base of so many wonderful colors and color combinations.
This is one of my favorites.
Another experiment was to “tye-dye” a skein of fustic which we then dipped in a weakened pot of cochineal.
I don’t have anymore fustic pots going right now – I want to wait until my indigo is ready to go because I want to get some greens going – but I think this wood holds great promise.
Now, I have a pot of madder soaking . . .
I am hoping to have the madder ready to show you next week. Obviously there is alot going on in our kitchen. 😀
Let me know what things you are interested in seeing us talk about in these posts. The Natural Dyeing posts get the most views of all of my blog posts so I know there is interest in this work. Let me know what you all are interested in and we can learn together.
Off to work now. Have a great Wednesday!!