Punica granatum, écorce de grenade, Granatapfelschale, cáscara de granada, craiceann pomegranáit

I’ve had quite a stock of dried pomegranate peel sitting around in the larder (I refuse to call it a “pantry” as most Australian-born do – sounds too much like something out of Upstairs Downstairs and we don’t have a maid). So, after obtaining a beige tone on alpaca yarn some time ago, I wasn’t expecting anything more.

I used 200% wof on wool, and chose the bits of rind with the reddest colouring. The alkaline pomegranate1.jpgmodifier (skeins 3 & 4) darkended the colours, whilst the acid modifier (5 & 6) lightened them. Skeins 1, 3 & 5 demonstrate that no mordant is required. Each shade obtained is, however, worthy in its own right and in real life all are far more vivid.

I had read somewhere that pomegranate, being high in tannin, is also worth consideration in making turmeric more light-fast… Wonder what it will do for alkanet? I just had to try, so in the dye bath mentioned in the previous post, six doppelgangers (that doesn’t seem right without the umlaut, aber ich bin sicher, Ihr konnt es mir vergeben) were thrown in for an overdye.


The original shades of pomegranate alone were strong and I suppose I should’ve repeated the experiment with yellow rind, and maybe at 100% wof. Oh well, let’s just shove some skeins in the pot and see what we get…

…more interesting shades with pinky (and perky) overtones. The light-fast testing will be interesting. Tomorrow’s been downgraded to 41oC (how cool…) whilst Sunday is still forecast to be 42oC. Even if it stays below that, there’s plenty of UV around for the tespomegranate3.jpgt.

Just as an aside, I “marked” the pre-dyed pomegranate skeins with some bits of other wool. How did they emerge from the alkanet bath? GREY AND PURPLE! Grr!!!


Pomegranate on cotton yarn


I copied my last year’s experiment with pomegranate rind on cotton yarn (bottom), and added bicarb to the liquor. The result was a light mustard-yellow. As the rind was a mixture of yellow and red, I decided to try again with red-only rind (the pomegranate was red all over, as the ones imported from the US tend to be), and added (I think…) ammonia to the liquor.

You couldn’t see through the jpomegranate2ar when held up to the light, and the yarn (top) – c.12g – came out a grey-mauve after washing. Still not a very deep shade, but it demonstrates the variety that can be obtained from the fruit.

As the dye liquor was still dark, another skein of cotton went in, but this time came out a “dirty yellow”. None of the skeins had any mordant, so this plus some modifiers might be the subjects of the next experiments.

Pomegranate II

Where does all the red go from the peel? Having been more successful with the betel nuts after an alkaline soak, I decided to try with pomegranates. A fair amount of peel was dried off in the food drier; it’s getting coolealkaline soakr and damp at the moment, so I wanted to avoid the harvest going mouldy.

A jam jar was filled to about a third of the way up with dried peel broken into small pieces, then water was added to within an inch from the top (to allow for bubbling, etc.) and then a good spoonful of bicarb. The colour came out shyly over the first few hours, but after a whilcottone and with a bit of stirring….. treacle.

What with a host of other projects on the go, I actually forgot about this for a day, and couldn’t do anything until the third day anyway. A small skein of scoured cotton was added to liquor in a larger jar and left for a day (or two?). For the sake of speed, I gave the skein a wash in laundry powder (which made it go darker at first), then rinsed until clear. You can see that it produced quite an acceptable colour.skein

I didn’t want to leave wool soaking for so long in the liquor – pH10 – but then tossed between an alkaline soak and an alkaline boil and which would be the most damaging. Boil it was – for about twenty minutes. The colour isn’t all that bad, but the damage caused doesn’t really make the risk worthwhile. Maybe like a home perm.


dahlia potI only had a few small dahlia plants in the garden, but a local enthusiast came to the rescue with what must have been about five kilos of freshly lopped flowers – plenty to experiment with. I don’t know what percentage of the weight of a fresh flower is water, but as they dried, so it became clear that 5kg wasn’t going to go as far as first thought. However, the results were pretty amazing.

The first dyepot contained 220g semi-dried flowers in darker shades, simmered for an hour. After straining the liquid, I added two skeins each of 50g commerically-spun whdahliasite alpaca, mordanted  with alum at 10% wof. They were simmered for another hour, then one skein was removed. A generous spoonful of bicarb was added to the pot, turning the remaining skein copper. I wasn’t able to repeat the effect with the remaining dyepots, but got very acceptable results nonetheless. The photo shows them paler than real life.

The second picture shows the same yarn mordanted with alum/cream of tartar 50:50 to 15% wof, then dyed with dried pomegranate rind. It came out much softer; maybe because of the CoT? Not an inspiring colour per se, but blends in well with the dahlias for a warp.warp