So, dyeing your own wool is long and smelly, but boy is it rewarding!
I really enjoyed dyeing my own wool, and it was something I was passionate about doing the moment I bought the wool in Morocco, so I’m feeling like I have achieved something I hoped for within my project. The colours came out wonderfully, and it was a lovely experience to watch the vegetables, fruits and flowers boil and for the colours to grow and change over the hour which they simmered. It’s also ever so interesting to see which colour comes with which vegetable. For instance, red cabbage came out such a strong and magical blue. Turmeric came out a rich golden-yellow and Avocado skin and stone came out different shades of pink and orange. It was all so wonderful. After I had dyed each wool I used a ribbon tied to some nails in my kitchen to create a washing line, where I pegged each batch of wool. It looked like I had my own Moroccan dyers market right there in my kitchen.
I am so happy with the results and with the colours, and as I went along I began to come away from some of the guidelines I was following on the internet as I began to get a feel for what was working for me personally. On my second day of dyeing I learnt that simmering the wool in the blueberry dye for one hour resulted in a quite dark grey colour, and from this I was hoping to achieve a much lighter blue, so I took this note into my 3rd day of dyeing and simmered the wool for only 30 minutes this time. It was notes and experimentations like this that I managed to learn more about the process and be able to understand better how the wool reacts with the dyeing. I think different types of wool dye different shades, with mine being from the depths of Morocco I think this had an effect on the shades in which it dyed, due to it maybe being a little dirtier and musty compared to some of the cleaner wools which you could purchase back here in the UK. Not for a second am I complaining, for me this only makes the whole thing a whole lot better. Throughout the process I’ve been so conscious of how natural and earthy my processes have been, and this is something that I wanted to gain throughout this project. I’ve managed to combine the natural wool from Morocco and reproduce the early and rich colours and tones that inhabit the city with earthly materials from back home, and this is something I find very important within my process. I am very keen to continue this process in the future and I am happy with the amount of wool I have been able to dye within the remaining time frame. All that’s left now is to knit something beautiful to be able to make a cushion that embodies my experience within Marrakesh.