Then I boiled them at a simmer for a few hours to help release the dye. They smelled like apple butter.
I let them sit overnight and then in the morning I boiled them again for 90 minutes before we removed the twigs and put in the fiber.
We let it simmer for a couple of hours while we tried to catch up on the sample cards. [I fear we'll never catch up.]
Apple twigs give beautiful apricots and browns.
The brighter colors had an ammonia after bath. The darker colors were post-mordanted with iron.
If we had increased the amount to 300% WOG, we'd have gotten darker colors. I also wonder what kind of color we'd get from twigs that were dried, or cut at a different time of the year or from an apple tree that bears green or golden apples instead of red.
If you're interested in natural dyeing, we highly recommend these two books: Wild Color, by Jenny Dean and Indigo, Madder and Marigold by Trudy Van Stralen.
There are a lot of other natural dyeing books out there, but these are the ones we go to most often and whose instructions are comprehensive and clear.
Only one dye left and we'll achieve our goal of 10 natural dyes on 10 fibers in 24 different mordanting variations. We've only got six of the dyes on cards so far [logwood, cochineal, madder, brazilwood, goldenrod and walnut] and already my binder is bursting. Waiting to be put on cards: comfrey, osage orange, apple twigs. It's kind of exciting!
Indigo is next. We've all done indigo before.....but it's been a while. We'd love to hear your experiences and recommendations for an indigo pot.