red handedI spent a fun day digging and preparing a madder dye vat that left me red handed. Yeah, I didn’t think about gloves.

We decided to be very methodical about this, instead of my usual slash dash way, in order to achieve a good clear red.

I put 454 grams (1 pound) of wool/silk yarn to soak in 70 grams of aluminum sulfate and 28 grams of grocery store cream of tartar. (I didn’t have any potassium bitartarte on hand so I had to make do with what I could.)

We set about to peel the roots before chopping it up for the dye bath. The bucket you see below is our wash bucket with root scrapings. I took the bucket home to play with it and see what colors I can get out of it. Dregs, if you will.

Stay tuned!

madder bath

P.S. We found that fresh madder roots are easy to peel. You peel it as you would peel ginger with a spoon. You end with just the skin taken off with little to no waste. That is, if you don’t count the skin, which has a lot of dye material too. Word is that the skin contains more of the yellows and browns, which I didn’t want.