Haberdashery Willow Experiments

This week – willow testing! Although there will be a record somewhere about what species the willows on the farm are, I haven’t found it yet. Luckily they seem similar to willows I have used before – a bright green stem with very grippy bark that cannot be peeled off by hand and a more burgundy coloured one with very peelable bark that makes a nice reliable dye and good for twine making. Obviously allowing for all sorts of variables I thought it best to have a play to make sure (and also to test for drawing charcoal, more tests later!). Sometimes willow can be suprising – looking at you S. babylonica – but pleased to report these two were about where I thought they would be, pinky tones from the burgundy one and a more fawn brown from the green. From top to bottom the tester pieces are wool with an alum mordant, wool with no mordant and a piece of natural linen with no mordant. Quite a palette!