Autumn colours: Onion skins and Pomegranate Peel

I have been quite inspired by the beautiful autumn colours lately. I have been going through my collection of naturally dyed yarns and I’m determined to use them in my next project which is a traditional Scandinavian rya (ryijy) rug or a wall hanging. But I noticed that I didn’t have enough of orange and yellow colours that I wanted. Luckily I always keep a jar full of onion skins in my kitchen cupboard. Don’t we all? I always save up all the onion skins we use in cooking. So I did some dyeing with onion skins.

This time I used yellow onion skins. I have made a blog post about the process of dyeing wool yarn with onion skins here. I used the same exact method, so I won’t repeat it here. I have also written about red onion skins which give a surprising, but beautiful colour, you can read about it here. And I have also written about dyeing cotton fabric with onion skins which is slightly different, you can read about it here and here.
It always surprises me how different materials take the colour differently. A very fine merino wool gave a very strong orange and more coarse wool more of a mustard yellow. Both are beautiful colours. The greens I got with dyeing gray yarn. Basic color theory blue (or grey in this) + yellow = green. I find it fun to dye yarns that already have a base colour because you can get surprising results.  
I wrote my bachelor theses last spring about natural dyeing and I came across with a scientific article where they came to a conclusion that pomegranate is one of the best ingredients in natural dyeing to dye with out mordanting. Pomegranate peel has a lot of natural tannin that helps the colours to fix. I really hope that I would remember if I use mordanted yarn or not with this, but the truth is that I really don’t. This was back in the June and it’s October now, I really should have made notes. This is partly what this blog is for me. Notes that I can go back to when I want to remember how I did something.  
This was a funny result. I had no idea what material this yarn was, but I think it was a mix of wool and acrylic or something similar. The manmade fibers didn’t take the colour and actually it looks nice!

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