CAMOFLage- This is what we are getting- Camo Yarn. So far the Mushrooms have developed a deep golden color on all mordants except the chrome which is a pale yellow/gold. The Macadamia is soft beige; the Tea Tree is deep green or rosey brown. And the copper mordant by itself makes a soft turqouise. With yarn like this, we could hide in the forest forever. Well, maybe not deep winter when some of the trees lose their leaves, but most of the year.
I have found that the mordants, while making things grab the color quickly, have not had much affect on color or washfast/lightfast ability. The real change came in the Tea Tree when the Alum and Copper grabbed the green. The un-mordant yarn took a rosey brown.
All things considered, this has been a good experiment. And there will be many more. I am creating mordanted swatch pieces so that I can test small quantities of colorant material in all the mordants at one time. I still need to get some iron and tin samples made, but life moves at its own pace- these are not close to the top of the list of things to do yet.
I have pretty much decided that the professional chemicals are still my favorite- as I have yet to go get the cochineal bugs. But it is good to know what is in my yard and what it can do for me.
I also have come to realize that as a society we are so spoiled. The yarn I am using was spun on a machine. I do make my own yarn, but to make this much just for test swatches would have been really hard. The chemicals are already reduced and in their simple form I need. I could go get some copper and vinegar, but hey! I didn't have to steep the plants for days in wood ashes, either.
This is a fun thing, and I don't have to do it for a living every day. None of us do. We all have lovely, colorful clothing and fabrics at our fingertips, with great ease and variety. As I spin the next fleece, plan the next sweater, knit the next socks- I am so glad that I am not making every piece of textile my family needs. I would be out of my mind sewing, weaving, spinning, knitting, dying, and collecting bugs. In fact- I am going to take a nap today, again, because I can.