I purchased two shawls this past weekend so I could continue to take advantage of the snow that was still accumulating. One was labelled 70% pashmina, 30% silk. It was had a nice shimmer and was soft. The other shawl was labelled 100% pashmina. At both locations I asked specifically if the fibre content was wool and was assured that it was.
Both shawls were washed to remove any finish that might deter the dye from adhering to them. They were soaked in a vinegar, salt and water solution to prepare the wool for dyeing.
One of the shawls was folded into thirds and wrapped around a PVC pipe, the other was rolled around a string. A combination of navy, turquoise and yellow dye powder was sprinkled on top of the snow.
After the snow had melted, the shawls were steamed to set the dye. In the photo above they had just been removed from the steamer, the colours were vibrant!
The shawls were rinsed and washed with synthropol to remove all the excess dye.
Here they are drying on the line after all of the dye was removed. I could see as soon as I began rinsing them out that there was a problem. In my experience pure wool absorbs dye beautifully resulting in deep, rich, strong colours. So, these two supposedly wool shawls don’t contain any wool at all!
This is the nui shibori shawl after its final wash. It’s a soft ethereal blue.
The arashi shibori shawl has a bit more colour, and the steaming has set the pleats! Although the colour differs quite dramatically from the shawls just out of the steamer, they are a still very pretty – an icy blue.
Well, this experience has taught me that not all labels are accurate! The results are not the rich deep colours I personally favour but the finished shawls are still lovely. I am still looking for 100% pure wool scarves. I have a lead that I plan on pursuing. Hoping they arrive before all the snow is gone!