Monday, February 04, 2008

Head... swimming...

Well. As I've got some indigo, madder, and cochineal arriving at the house on Thursday (I figured, why not start out with the major 'natural' dyes and work out from there?), I have kicked back and begun researching. (Incidentally, 'natural' and 'organic' go in quotes around my house, because I realize natural and organic don't mean safe, or whatever definitions society hooks to them these days. Uranium is natural, and so is ionizing radiation and cancer. Organic means anything with a carbon atom, including some of the most toxic poisons on earth. People start going on about organic food like it's a religion, and I catch myself rolling my eyes at them.)

Have I mentioned, the amount of information available on the internet is like heroin for an information geek like me? Probably not. Well. Since you're on the internet at this very moment, you probably know what I mean. I may swoon.

At any rate. Turns out there are HEAPS of natural dyes I can use that are safe around the Goober, with either no mordant at all, or an alum mordant, which is reasonably safe. (As in, safer than using oven cleaner with her in the house, which is kind of my standard for when to spaz out.) Blueberries, rhubarb, onion skins... mwahahahaha. And since they'll be experiments, and since there's no way I could possibly use all the colors I plan to cook up, a lot of the stuff will wind up on Etsy, so not only do I get to play mad scientist, I may MAKE MONEY AT IT. (Though I'd settle for making enough money to fund more experiments.)

For you, poor reader, this means you're going to be stuck with zillions more articles on colors and natural dyes. I know you're all horribly disappointed and horrified. Try to bear up under the strain.

Oh. And what do you guys think of a KnittySpin article on the history of spinning? No one's done it yet, and being me, I'm going to look up all the details anyway because I got a spinning wheel and I'm hopeless like that.

Anyway. Going back to the heroin, er, internet.


Witchylana said...

I do the same thing with the 'organics'.
"Ew, don't buy that. It's not natural!" - what is it then?
From another dimension?

Miss said...
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Helen said...

Yes, and this idea that somehow natural things don't contain chemicals - what do they contain then? To be fair, there is a legal definition of organic food which is more than 'must contain a carbon atom', but a consumer magazine in the UK did a survey and found that some amazing percentage of people thought that all organic food was low fat. Aaaaarrgh.

Rachel said...


(I'm taking a class on materials in human experience this semester, and I am praying like a mad thing that there'll be a textiles unit...)

Amy Lane said...

History of spinning would ROCK, and just sosyouknows, I've been forwarding all of your 'history of color' etc. to the science and history departments at the high school. They think you're incredibly cool!

Louiz said...

In the UK you can buy clothes that claim to be "organic" however the UK organic certification is only for food products.