All dyestuff must first be processed to extract the pigment. In beginning any new project, calculate the proper amount of Osage Orange Chips.
First, we need to measure the weight of fabric, WOF. We recommend using 40% WOF, weight of dry materials. For example, if you are dying 500 grams (1 pound) worth of fiber, you would need 200 grams of osage orange.
Weight of Fiber x 0.4 = weight of dry materials
Before dyeing with osage orange, we recommend mordanting your fibers with myrobalan and alum.
To extract dye from osage orange, add about 1 quart of water into a pot then add the pre-measured amount of osage orange. Bring the water to about 175 degrees F, above a simmer but below a boil, for about 30 minutes to an hour (the longer the better!). Strain the osage orange from the liquid, saving the liquid. This liquid is your extract.
You are now ready to begin dyeing and prepping your dye bath!
To prep your dye bath, fill a pot with enough water to fit your fiber. Add the correct amount of dye, extracted liquid, and stir it well.
Begin dyeing your fiber! We recommend getting your mordanted fabrics wet and ringing them out until they are damp; this helps evenly distribute the dye.
Once the fabric is in, slowly begin heating your water to a simmer, about 90 degrees F. Ensure the dye can penetrate every bit of fabric by gently moving it around.
Leave the project in the dye bath for about 45 minutes to an hour.
The final step is to rinse the dyed fabrics a few times and wash using a pH-neutral liquid detergent, like Dr. Bronner’s.