Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Testing the Merits of your dye extractions!

I had a wild cherry tree fall down in my yard during a rain storm, and I decided to cook some of the fresh leaves to see what dye pigment if any they would give.  I filled a 6 qt. stockpot with leaves and added a gallon of rain water.  I brought the pot ot a boil and let it boil for 20 minutes.  I reduced the heat to simmer and let the leaves simmer in the covered pot for 1 hour.  It appeared that I had a light yellow extraction  I added a piece of copper pipe to the pot and left it to sit overnight.  The following morning, I collected some empty jars and put 100 ml of the dye extract in each jar.   The each jar I added 1/4 teaspoon of a different additive.  I first made test samples with the cold solution on white paper towelling.  Next, I heated each jar in the microwave for 1 minute and took another sample with the paper towelling.  I hung each pair side by side, labeled with the substance that had been added.  When they were dry, I snipped off a small square of the towelling and used them as samples for my Test Record.  The accompanying photo show the additive, the hot and cold samples, the date, because I want to know the time of year I obtained the pigments from the leaves.  I also made notes to myself of the procedure used.  Lastly, I remembered to take a sample of the unadulterated base color.  This sample was after 3 days in the pot,   I should have made a sample of the fresh dye extract for comparison, but I forgot.  I hope this is helpful in allaying your fears of making the Gerber tests for your pigments.  They can save you much time and worry.

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