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HELP!! Bright Blue Wool!!

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  • arrahateck
    Greetings all, I m back asking for some more help on early 17th century costuming. One of our part time interpreters has made herself a woolen jacket (for lack
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 31, 2004
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      Greetings all,
      I'm back asking for some more help on early 17th century costuming.
      One of our part time interpreters has made herself a woolen jacket
      (for lack of a better term) for winter wear. The pattern I think is
      OK (slightly modified from a Janet Arnold pattern) but, she has made
      it from a very bright, almost electric blue wool. She has also made
      thread covered buttons for it with embroidery thread of the same
      color. I'm wondering if there is any way tone this thing down or
      darken it without damaging the fabric or the buttons. My first
      thought is to cold soak it in black or brown ritberries for a short
      time. I'm not sure how that might work or what the other
      alternatives might be. I'd rather try a few things before I tell her
      she can't wear it on site. Thanks for all your help.

      Take care,
      Pete McKee
    • Rita
      Tea or coffee or both would probably dull the color. Lady fiona ... From: arrahateck [mailto:p_mckee3@yahoo.com] Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 5:24 PM To:
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 31, 2004
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        Tea or coffee or both would probably dull the color.
        Lady fiona

        -----Original Message-----
        From: arrahateck [mailto:p_mckee3@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 5:24 PM
        To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Authentic_SCA] HELP!! Bright Blue Wool!!


        Greetings all,
        I'm back asking for some more help on early 17th century costuming.
        One of our part time interpreters has made herself a woolen jacket
        (for lack of a better term) for winter wear. The pattern I think is
        OK (slightly modified from a Janet Arnold pattern) but, she has made
        it from a very bright, almost electric blue wool. She has also made
        thread covered buttons for it with embroidery thread of the same
        color. I'm wondering if there is any way tone this thing down or
        darken it without damaging the fabric or the buttons. My first
        thought is to cold soak it in black or brown ritberries for a short
        time. I'm not sure how that might work or what the other
        alternatives might be. I'd rather try a few things before I tell her
        she can't wear it on site. Thanks for all your help.

        Take care,
        Pete McKee




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      • borderlands15213
        ... costuming. ... I m wondering if there is any way tone this thing down or ... her ... I m a great proponent of weak tea baths. (Yes, tea.
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 31, 2004
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          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "arrahateck" <p_mckee3@y...>
          wrote:
          > Greetings all,
          > I'm back asking for some more help on early 17th century
          costuming.
          > One of our part time interpreters has made herself a woolen jacket
          <<<Snipped>>>I'm wondering if there is any way tone this thing down
          or
          > darken it without damaging the fabric or the buttons. My first
          > thought is to cold soak it in black or brown ritberries for a short
          > time. I'm not sure how that might work or what the other
          > alternatives might be. I'd rather try a few things before I tell
          her
          > she can't wear it on site. Thanks for all your help.
          >
          > Take care,
          > Pete McKee

          I'm a great proponent of weak tea "baths." (Yes, tea. Lipton,
          Tetley, Salada---the old "pekoe, orange pekoe and cut black tea" tea
          bags. I've used the weak tea bath to tone down shrieking pink and
          violent yellow to a pleasant and well mannered rose and very light
          ochre, respectively. It's inexpensive and it's food safe. The "dye"
          bath can be barely tepid, so you can do this in the bathtub if
          necessary.
          Tannin is the active agent, here, so you might get something brownish
          greenish, or just rusty blue-ish, depending. You're really just
          intentionally and systematically staining a fabric article with tea.

          Can you obtain a scrap, or several, of the wool, other than from her
          jacket? If you can, use these pieces to test. Tea stains are a pain
          to remove if you don't like the results; it's best to be certain of
          what your results are likely to be before using this on the jacket.
          Be scientific. Measure the water, note the volume, and the number of
          tea bags you use. Heat the water, and add the tea bags; let them
          steep, but not as long as you would to make tea for drinking.
          Remove the tea bags.
          Attach a cord (cotton, preferably) to each piece of wool, using a
          safety pin; to the free end of the cord, attach a square, perhaps one-
          half a 3x5" index card, and record increments of time: the minimum
          time you'll have a piece in the bath, and then in five- or ten-minute
          increments after that. Put all the swatches into the bath at the
          same time. Remove the swatches in this order of length of dyeing or
          staining, as you've marked on the tags.
          This is so you'll have a more accurate idea of how long to leave the
          jacket in the bath. If you have enough scraps--which don't have to
          be huge, by the way: as small as 4x4" or even 3x3" will help,
          although larger pieces give your eye a better notion of how this will
          look in a mass or a garment---you can also find out the point in time
          beyond which no more change occurs.
          That also works well for other dyeing, if you need or wish to know
          when there'll be no more color taken up.
          You don't know this for sure until you've rinsed, and let dry.
          If the minimum minutes, after rinsing and allowing the wool to dry,
          looks good, there you go. Otherwise, check the other samples....
          As far as I know, no mordant is required.

          Yseult
        • Willow Polson
          ... Also be sure to get any extra cloth and dye it at the same time so that it s the exact same color if she needs to make repairs.
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 31, 2004
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            At 12:13 AM 9/1/2004 +0000, you wrote:

            >Can you obtain a scrap, or several, of the wool, other than from her
            >jacket? If you can, use these pieces to test. Tea stains are a pain
            >to remove if you don't like the results; it's best to be certain of
            >what your results are likely to be before using this on the jacket.

            Also be sure to get any extra cloth and dye it at the same time so that
            it's the exact same color if she needs to make repairs.


            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Rev. Willow Polson www.willowsplace.com
            Give my Pagan Paradise Live365 Radio Station a listen!
            http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=willowpolson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          • kittencat3@aol.com
            Aw, why tone down the bright pinks and yellows? Cochineal and weld give some truly amazing shades of magenta and bright yellow...:) Seriously, tea dyeing
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 31, 2004
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              Aw, why tone down the bright pinks and yellows? Cochineal and weld give some
              truly amazing shades of magenta and bright yellow...:)

              Seriously, tea dyeing should be fine. Tannic acid is a good mordant in and
              of itself for cellulose, and will dye just about any natural fiber. Quilters
              frequently use it on cottons to achieve an aged look.

              Good luck!

              Sarah Davies


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • neimhaille
              ... made ... made ... Is there an issue with this colour not being appropriate for the particular era? I ask as there are some pretty darned vivid blues in
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 1, 2004
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                > OK (slightly modified from a Janet Arnold pattern) but, she has
                made
                > it from a very bright, almost electric blue wool. She has also
                made
                > thread covered buttons for it with embroidery thread of the same
                > color. I'm wondering if there is any way tone this thing down or
                > darken it without damaging the fabric or the buttons.

                Is there an issue with this colour not being appropriate for the
                particular era? I ask as there are some pretty darned vivid blues in
                tapestries, 500 years after they were made;) 17thC isn't my forte but
                I have also seen some nice blues in paintings.. Again , not my forte
                and I'm not even aware of your particular needs for your group.

                I really wouldn't tea dye. I've heard some nice horror stories of
                things being broken down over time. It's certainly not advised for
                heirloom pieces anyway. Apparently there is a way to neutralise the
                acid, but honestly I'd rather just use a safe purpose created dye;)

                The acid might not affect the wool (that's why the ground is silk and
                the pile rayon for chiffon velvet to be acid etched after all) but
                the thread for the buttons probably will.

                She might get good results using a dye which is made for both protein
                and cellulose based fibres (like Dylon), so it should dye the wool
                and the thread. Use a colour from the other side of the colour
                wheel.. thing.. Complimentary colours should muddy the tone a bit, so
                that should be an orange toned dye.

                Of course, testing on scraps is paramount and much more diluted than
                usual so she doesn't get brown, but a less vibrant blue.

                She could also go over with black and deepen the colour to a midnight
                blue. Maybe even navy...

                Lady Willemyne (the vibrant.. orange, teal, sunshine yellow... though
                not all at once;) )
                http://costumes.glittersweet.com
              • borderlands15213
                Ah, because I was going to be wearing the bright pinks and yellows, in one garment, and they were causing my face to look neon-white. That was just too much
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 1, 2004
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                  Ah, because I was going to be wearing the bright pinks and yellows,
                  in one garment, and they were causing my face to look neon-white.
                  That was just too much unflattering glow factor. <G> And the fiber
                  in that instance was cotton of a medium sheeting weight. (No linen
                  in the budget 'way back then.) The tea was a practical, easy and
                  available (and affordable, at that time! Budget's a little less
                  constraining, these days) solution.
                  I hadn't realized tannic acid is a mordant, but it makes sense.
                  Thanks for that tidbit!

                  Yseult

                  --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, kittencat3@a... wrote:
                  > Aw, why tone down the bright pinks and yellows? Cochineal and weld
                  give some
                  > truly amazing shades of magenta and bright yellow...:)
                  >
                  > Seriously, tea dyeing should be fine. Tannic acid is a good
                  mordant in and
                  > of itself for cellulose, and will dye just about any natural
                  fiber. Quilters
                  > frequently use it on cottons to achieve an aged look.
                  >
                  > Good luck!
                  >
                  > Sarah Davies
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • arrahateck
                  Thanks to all for the suggestions on toning down the blue wool. I had not even thought about tea or coffee. The 18th century frontier part of me jumped
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 3, 2004
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                    Thanks to all for the suggestions on toning down the blue wool. I
                    had not even thought about tea or coffee. The 18th century frontier
                    part of me jumped straight to walnut hulls. I will apprise her of
                    the possible danger of the tannic acid breaking down the fabric over
                    time. Not sure how long that might be. Our clothing sees some
                    rather hard usage anyway, so it may not be an issue. To answer
                    the "Why not bright electric blue?", we are a 17th century New World
                    frontier settlement (1611 - 1622). Our staff portrays the labouring
                    classes in that harsh setting (though there are a few peacocks among
                    our volunteer reenactors!). The thread buttons are her first
                    attempt. If the embroidery thread breaks down, I will recommend she
                    try again with black or some other more subdued color. I'm tickled
                    pink about the thread buttons anyway.

                    Take care,
                    Pete McKee
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