Dyeing with Walnut, as with other vegetable-based dyes, is a process which varies from batch to batch as the plants used have different histories and will have been harvested at different stages. So it is always a good idea to make sure that you have enough material to hand for the whole of the job you want to complete.
Brown Dyeing with Walnut Bark
Here is a method from Pakistan for dyeing yarn.
- Soak the pulverised walnut bark overnight in 20 times its weight of water
- Mordant the yarn with 3% potassium dichromate and 1% sulphuric acid
- Boil the soaked walnut bark for at least half an hour then pass it through a sieve
- Add the walnut bark concoction to the dye-bath
- Slowly heat the dye-bath to 60°C
- Add the damp, mordanted yarn to the dye bath
- Take 1 hour to bring the dye-bath to boil
- Boil for 1 hour
- Allow to cool, wash, rinse and hang to dry
You can use the remaining dye-bath to make lighter shades
Brown Dyeing with Walnut Husk
This dye method was originally intended for using on woven baskets and specified Black Walnuts, but is perfectly applicable to the English (Persian) Walnut as well.
- Gather walnuts from the ground. Choose nuts still in the green husk.
- Remove the nuts (optional) and put the husks into an old pillowcase.
- Tie the pillowcase tightly shut with a piece of rope.
- Place the husk-filled pillowcase into a large plastic rubbish bin.
- Allow the rope to drape over the edge of the can for later retrieval of the husks.
- Fill the container with hot water and cover
- Allow to steep for several days until the dye achieves the depth of color you want.
- Strain any solids out of the dye.
- Dye can be decanted into containers and frozen to keep for later use.
- Add a small amount of white vinegar to the dye to reduce the possibility of mold.
- Wet your materials and immerse them in the dye until they reach the color you desire.
- Dye can be painted or sprayed onto finished baskets.