Cochineal and Osage Orange

I was able to order some cochineal from a farm in Oaxaca a couple of months ago, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to use it. Well, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t make the time for it, so in the middle of getting ready for the Wool Festival last weekend, I was also dyeing silk fabric at the same time I was labeling and pricing wool. It got a little crazy here at home, but I just couldn’t wait any longer for the perfect moment to arrive. In my hurry, I also underestimated the dye’s ability to stain almost anything, that I bypassed washing my dye pot thoroughly that I previously used with cochineal last winter and my  mordanted fabric got a pinkish color. I kind of like it, but it definitely will change the outcome of my final colors.


Mordanted Fabric

I also been soaking my Osage Orange in vodka. Even though I soaked it for a few months, I think I prefer this method, because it saves a lot on energy, time and the brew is ready any time I’m prepared to proceed with my dyeing.

Osage Orange and Cochineal

There is my Cochineal to the left and my Osage Orange soaking to the right. This is getting exciting…

Dye Pots

Cochineal Dye Pot IMG_0557 IMG_0559 IMG_0561

The silk gets one shade lighter after it gets dry.

Mulberry Silk dyed with Osage Orange

Mulberry Silk

Osage Orange and Cochineal

I didn’t plan to have these orchids blooming at the same time…



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