Monday, May 19, 2014

Natural Dyeing a Wool Blanket

This wool blanket is  special. It was produced in the UK sometime between 1941 and 1952 when the government set strict standards for UK produced products, to aid the war economy. 
The Price Control Mark label specifies this blanket, NPC 880, was guaranteed to contain 2 pounds of wool and had a set price of 25/8 shillings.
With such a history I must admit I did hesitate before plunging it into the alum bath.
The wrinkled label testifies to the abuse the blanket has been put through over its 60 or 70 years. It has been unevenly and probably unintentionally, fulled. 
Now it needs to be made beautiful again - with fungi and lichen dyes.


Fairy Ring mushrooms sound as though they will produce something magical.

Mushrooms plus lichens laid out on the blanket. 

Plus a few lichen covered twigs and scraps of bark

All rolled up tightly then squeezed into a bucket of acidic pond water and ammonia.
The bucket will now rest beside the boiler for a month or so, or until I can no longer wait to open it.

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