To get greens with natural dyes, you dye the fiber yellow, then dip it in an indigo pot. There really aren't good natural greens from leaves or moss as one would assume. So we put out pots of bois d'arc (osage orange or hedgeapple), and turmeric, which we hadn't used before. Each gave very different yellow; the turmeric was much more vibrant and tended toward orange. However, when we dipped the dyed yellows into the indigo, we got really weird results. The osage, as we knew, gave a reliable green, tending toward blue-green if you left it in indigo too long. The turmeric, on the other hand, gave blue with pinkish blotches and no green at all. Later we put those blue/pink pieces back into yellow pots, and got good greens!
We did all this on Friday and Saturday, occasionally retreating into the house to cool off. Rain was predicted, but didn't materialize. We both like uneven, blotchy dyed fabrics and welcome unexpected results, so we've never been scientific about recording our methods. Instead, we "see what we'll get."
The other project was to initiate a new mordant process to enable us to obtain darker, richer colors with madder on cotton. This one is a doozy. Pam had made castor oil soap, which I chopped into pieces; this was dissolved in softened water, and cotton pieces massaged and soaked in it for a while. Then the cotton was wrung out and stored in a container overnight, then hung on the lines to continue to absorb the castor oil. It has to hang for 3 days, then repeat the soaking, wringing and hanging 5 times. I have this marked on my calendar lest I forget! Then it's suggested we anoint the fiber with dung--but we decided to skip this step. Next, it's rinsed twice in softened water, then mordanted with tannin for 6-12 hours and dried. I quit reading at this point, as I can return to the instructions in 3-4 weeks and initiate the subsequent steps. At some future date, we should get vibrant reds and violets with the madder.
I'll post some other photos of the process later. It was an excellent weekend.