After the success with onion dyeing I was itching to try other natural dyeing methods. I did a little of research and the yellow gold you can obtain with turmeric was too beautiful to be ignored. Turmeric comes from a plant native of South West India and it's part of the ginger family. It's commonly used in Indian cooking but it is also famous for its dyeing and some say medicinal properties.
I put 50g of turmeric in a large pot together with 3 litres of water and let it bubble up gently for about half an hour.
Then I took my pre-soaked yarn (merino 4 ply) and fabric (2 types of linen) and immerse them in the dye bath and left them for about three/four hours. I took the pot off the heat at this stage, I was a little worried about cooking/felting the yarn.
I have to warn you... you want to light some candles around the room if you're doing this in the kitchen like I did. The turmeric has a somewhat peppery and mustardy smell that's rather pungent. It does disappear quite quickly but during the 'cooking time'... it's not the best smell in the world! Once the yarn and fabric were steeping in the dye bath I kept the lid firmly on at all times!
When I was happy with the colour I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed some more till the water ran clear and then dried the skein overnight in the airing cupboard. I was very very happy to notice that once the yarn dried the smell completely disappeared. Phew.
The linen was left in the pot overnight but still you can see how different it soaked up the colour:
I didn't use any mordant but after washing nothing lost any colour so finger crossed they won't fade in the light!
Now I'm waiting for a sunny day to do a little more indigo dyeing... I really got the dyeing bug!