Madder Root Felt

June 2, 2009

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My friend Mia generously shared lunch with Andrew and I, in our emerging food garden today. We topped off our organic greens, with some very sweet watermelon. Mia modeled and kindly allowed me to take some pictures of this new madder root felted piece. She looks so natural in felt- I love it!

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Experimenting with madder root- I have found that it is still a rather unpredictable dye. I have achieved some of the most exquisite reds, from wine red, to the brightness of a flame. From the same recipes I have also achieved the softest salmon pinks, and delicate oranges. Madder is grown extensively in India, and throughout Turkey and parts of the middle east. I wonder if the alteration in color, is about the soil and water that the root is grown in, more than it is a variable in my dyeing process? Every batch I get, is likely from a different farm.

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This is an example of the flame like red achieved from a slightly different batch of madder root- but using the same recipe as I always use. This red shows off nicely next to the California Sage dyed skien. All handspun on Point Reyes wool. I’m so curious if anyone has any comments on madder root, and would care to share their stories? This dye root is such a wonderful enigma.

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