North Country spider article

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wsbailey
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by wsbailey » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:34 pm

I thought I would take a chance and show a picture of the yarn that I dyed with dyes available in the Middle Ages. They had a very limited number of dye colors. The Bayeux tapestry used eight colors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayeux_Tapestry
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Last edited by wsbailey on Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
Variant
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by Variant » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:54 pm

Beautiful, well done!
Thanks for bringing back the past.
Lou
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by letumgo » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:03 pm

Bill - I have a stupid question. What time period are your Berlin will yarns from. I have a full set of your dyed yarns. (Superb btw)

I find the historic colors fascinating. You’ve done a great preserving the past.

How long have you been dying other materials (feathers/quills/etc)?
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wsbailey
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by wsbailey » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:20 pm

Ray,
There no dumb questions: only dumb answers. The main purpose for the Berlin wool is to tie Spey flies. Around 1840 ; Berlin wool work became a big fad and that was the same era as Spey flies. Synthetic dyes weren't discovered until 1856 so originally, Berlin wool yarn was dyed with natural dyes. At the time the Treatyse was printed the new world had just been discovered so the great influx of new dyes from there hadn't quite got started. Most of the dyes used in the late 15th century had been around since the days of Greece and Rome. I've been dyeing fly tying materials for about 25 years but I'm just getting started with feathers, etc.
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by letumgo » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:44 pm

Thanks Bill. I was tying some flies with your Berlin well earlier this weekend. I think it was my interest in Spey flies, which lead me to your Berlin yarn. Then my interest in various waxes (tying, cobblers wax, liquid wax, etc) once again lead me to your efforts & materials. Wonderful materials. ;)
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wsbailey
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by wsbailey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:02 am

In Alfred Ronalds' "The Fly-Fisher's Entomology" he speaks of using German wool in some of his fly patterns. I'm fairly certain that he was referring to Berlin wool.
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by narcodog » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:35 am

Bill, are these natural dyes stable, have a tendency to bleed or fade rapidly?
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wsbailey
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by wsbailey » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:57 am

All of these dyes are the most stable. Madder, woad (European indigo), weld. English oak bark and brazilwood. Brazilwood was being imported into Europe from Asia by the Middle Ages. The S. American country was named after brazilwood. So much Brazilian brazilwood was harvested that now the Asian version is being sold again. The reason so many flags contain red and blue is because madder and indigo are the most stable dyes. Even the best yellow dyes are somewhat less stable. That's why greens in Medieval tapestries are often faded with more of the blue component showing.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilin
Last edited by wsbailey on Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike62
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Re: North Country spider article

Post by Mike62 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:11 am

Bill, the colors you've imparted to your wool are remarkable; the historical component is fascinating. It never would have occurred to me to wonder how many colors were used in creating the Bayeux tapestry. The information you're giving us is wonderful. It dovetails so well to what we know (or don't) about fly tying and life at the end of the middle ages.
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