In our last dye session I submitted pieces of an old, white wool blanket. It had been our winter blanket until the aging cat peed on it and Pat washed it and it shrank a lot. I cut it into manageable pieces, eliminating the brownish pee spot, felted the pieces in the washing machine, and dyed them without expecting too much. Wool takes dye wonderfully, even when you're at the end of the indigo pot; I ended up with one piece splotched with several colors, and one dyed blue with random white spots.
They have gotten bulgy and stretched in the dyeing process, but wool shrinks to shape nicely and I think they'll be all right. I may need to put a cotton backing on to prevent stretching, however.
Now, what is the purpose of all this? I've been painting and stitching on an iris piece that consists of two dyed damask rectangles batted and stitched to a length of coarse, grayish woven stuff. Not sure what the fiber is--maybe hemp. The contrast with the fine linen is very nice. I want to mount that on a firm backing and quilt it in place, hence the blanket pieces.
This is the edge of one iris piece where it meets the "hemp" fabric. Because the linen was dyed with indigo and bois d'arc in an earlier dye session, all its colors go beautifully with the blanket colors above.
the idea of using the dyed wool came as I was waking up this morning. Funny how things crawl into your consciousness during these periods of semi-wakefulness. So, now I have a plan