As promised: A tutorial!
Disclaimer: This is a sloppy tutorial. I only measure when I absolutely have to. In this case, I wasn’t expecting any particular results, so I neither took notes nor made actual measurements. It seems, however, that acorns are a wonderful and forgiving dyestuff. Enjoy!
Step One: Mordant your fabric/fiber. I chose raw silk for this experiment and simmered it in vinegar for an hour…next time I’ll try something else, but I didn’t have any alum or rusty nails on hand. The piece of fabric I used was about 12″ x 24″.
Step Two: Gather acorns! This, of course, is the fun part. Especially if you have a small friend and a pretty basket. We had plenty in our own backyard, and there are tons and tons of them around the neighborhood and at the local playground/park. I would say I used about thirty acorns, not enough to cover the bottom of the pan…basically a couple, maybe three handfuls.
Step Three: Add a goodly amount of water and soak the acorns overnight.
Step Four: Bring the pot to a boil and leave it there for about an hour. Let it cool before adding fiber or fabric.
Step Five: Add your fiber or fabric to be dyed and bring the pot to a simmer for about an hour. I did not strain out the acorns for this, but I suppose you could if you want to. Turn off the heat and let the fabric/fiber sit in the pot overnight. I waited almost two days to take it out, rinse it and lay flat to dry.
Step Six: Toss soggy acorns into the chicken coop.
Right now I have a small piece of the fabric out on the picnic table in the backyard with a brick covering half of it. I’m going to check it every few days to see how colorfast it is.
I plan to dye about 8 oz of fiber with acorns later this week and will probably triple or quadruple the amount of acorns in the pot.
That’s all I’ve got today.