back to the pot...with birch bark

On my walk last week it was exciting to come across three old birch trees that had fallen. It was (and still is) my intention to collect a little of the bark for dyeing, so to find that I had a tree of my own at the weekend was lovely. Obviously taking bark from a healthy, living tree didn't seem like a good or nice idea, but there were a couple of dead branches knocked I think when the old tree that used to stand next to it came down in a storm.

The quest for a pinkish-red was an exciting one...but it didn't happen. Reading up a little, I should have been less impatient and let the bark steep in water for a few days before boiling, so I'll try that with the rest and have another go.

I do like the colour though, and it has a nice coral tone to it. Close!

The details

20g birch bark (mostly inner bark), covered with water and boiled for one hour then left overnight to cool
25g wool yarn, pre-mordanted with alum and cream of tartar

simmer in the dyebath for one hour, leave to cool and rinse