Sheep's wool, spinning & natural dying

2nd July 2018

Exploring sheep's wool and natural dye's
Through-out summer term, the children were exploring spinning sheep's wool and natural dying. 
Using a hand made spinner (hazel wood and iron rod) and sheep's wool, the children learnt how to spin the wool in pairs. They worked together ensuring that they were working at the same pace, as one spun and the other teased the wool and stopped the wool from undone.
The children had time to look through a natural dye book, discussing what plants we have available around the surrounding Forest School site and what colors they would like to try out with the spun wool. 
once the group decided, we went foraging for the leaves, twigs and berries, placing them in separate containers (Crab apple, Elder flower, Oak leaves and brambles).
Now they have been spun and names put on is time to experiment with our natural dye's.
hot water was poured over the trimmings taken from each plant and some vinegar (moldent). 
The mixture was left around 2/3 weeks. 
We drained the dye using a sieve and added the wool into their chosen plant selection. 
We also experimenting with cooking the dye solution on a camp fire to how the color takes to the wool. 
During our experiment we had a few visitors living in our pots - maggots and mosquito larvae which was a learning curve for the group but also a "YUK" experience for them too. 
At the end, we found that the dye's did not take to the wool's that we had expected. So we have decided to re-try again in the new year and make a few changes to the process.