fabric dyeing with logwood

Fabric dyeing with Logwood.

This is a blog post on fabric dyeing with Logwood. Logwood also known as Haematoxylum campechianum (scientific name) dyes violets, greys, and blacks. It comes from the heartwood of the logwood tree. Logwood tree is grown in the forest of Central America. It is fairly reasonable to buy from dye specialist supplies like Wingham wool work or George Weil fine art and craft supplies in the UK. There are also many suppliers that deliver worldwide. It is also available in extract or powder instead of chips.

I have previously used Logwood in natural printing and found it a great dye to work with as a dye blanket. It is because it produces lovely different shades of purple colours which makes it a wonderful background colour. Here is a link to how I printed fabric using leaves with logwood. I must admit I have yet to wash much with these fabrics as I want to transfer the colour to store on Adobe software. Logwood has got a reputation for bleeding out, especially with alum mordant something to keep in mind. This blog post will explain the colours I achieve using alum and iron as mordant. I have also experimented with different fibres as well.

Different types of fabrics dyed with logwood (cotton and silk (printed))

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 to remove the logwood chips. Add in the fibres and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. The duration, technique, and type of fibres will affect the degree of purple colour obtained from logwood. The pH will also affect the dye bath as well. More alkali blue shade. Less alkali will turn to a coppery shade.

I find that fresh logwood yields a brighter colour and much less with the older Logwood dye that has been left out for days. Sometimes, even with the same conditions the outcome can turn out differently. This is because sometimes there is residual alum or iron still stuck in the dye pot and it is not visible. It is also very much dependent on the supply of logwood that one has as well. One tip I found over these few years of dyeing is that the fresher the dye is the better colour it dyes left over night or a few dyes it goes to a dull colour. It is just the way natural dyes work.

Here are some tips on fabric dyeing with logwood. Alum will make it more purple. Iron as a mordant will give it black, a mordant modifier will turn it to dark purple. Cooper will bring out the bluer hues. Here are the results.

fabric dyeing with logwood
Logwood fabric dyeing with iron mordant
logwood fabric dyeing with alum mordant
Logwood fabric dyeing heated and not heated

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.

2 thoughts on “Fabric dyeing with Logwood.”

  1. Pingback: Fabric dyeing with dyers chamomile - Maker gardener

  2. Pingback: Fabric dyeing with weld - Maker gardener

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