This is a blog post on fabric dyeing with Logwood. Logwood produces violets, greys, and blacks. Logwood’s scientific name Haematoxylon compechianum comes from the heartwood of the logwood tree. Logwood tree is grown in the forest of Central America. It is cheap to buy from dye specialist supplies like Wingham wool work or George Weil fine art and craft supplies.
I have previously use Logwood in natural printing and found it a great dye to work with. It is because it produces lovely purple colors. Here is a link to how I printed fabric using leaves with logwood. I must admit I have yet to wash those fabrics as I want to transfer the color to store on adobe software. Logwood has got a reputation of bleed out especially with alum mordant something to keep in mind. In this blog post will explain the colors I achieve using alum and iron as mordant. I have also experimented with different fibers as well.
Fabric dyeing with Logwood
To make a dye bath from logwood chips, first, pour boiling water over the chips and leave it to soak for 8 to 12 hours. Then add enough water to make a dye bath and simmer the wood for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain off the liquid so as to remove the logwood chips. Add in the fibers and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. The duration and technique employ and the type of fibers will affect the degree of purple color obtain from logwood. The ph will also affect the dye bath as well. More alkali blue shade. Less alkali will turn to a coppery shade.
Personally, I find that fresh logwood yield brighter colour and much less with the older Logwood. Sometimes, even with same conditions the outcome can turn out differently. This is perhaps sometimes there is residual alum or iron still stuck in the dye pot and it is not visible.
Here is some tips on fabric dyeing with logwood. Alum will make it more purple. Iron as a mordant will give it black, post mordant modifier will turn it to dark purple. Cooper will bring out the bluer hues. Here are the results.
Some of these samples have got patch colour when dried as it it due how it is dried and some bleed of other mordants into the non mordant ones.
Thank you very much for reading and dropping by.