Page Turn Episode 049

Hello and welcome to Episode Forty Nine of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Forty Nine is The Night by Rodrigo Blanco Calderón. If you like the sound of The Night you should also check out: Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami, and Flowers of Mold by Ha Seong-nan.

Bonus segment my personal favorite Goodreads list The Night is on is Ficción Weird en Español

Happy Reading Everyone

Today’s Library Tidbit comes to us from Adult Services Librarian Sarah and is all about natural dyeing.

Natural dyes are dyes created from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. There is archaeological evidence of humans dyeing material with natural dyes back to the Neolithic era. Synthetic, or man-made dyes, were discovered in the mid-19th century and took over most commercial dyeing processes due to it being cheaper and easier to produce expected colors.

Natural dyes can only dye natural fibers. These can be divided into two types, cellulose and protein, Cellulose fibers are fibers that come from plant material, seed, leaf, bast, fruit, and stalk. Protein fibers are fibers that come from animals, wool, hair, sinew, leather, and silk. Different fibers will react differently to dyes.

Most natural dyers start to learn about natural dyeing through a love of nature and wanting to take care of the Earth. Natural dyes are significantly better for the environment than synthetic dyeing, especially if the dyer does not over-harvest a specific crop or insect.

People also love natural dyes for their complexities. Synthetic dyes are single note dyes and lack the depth and complexities that natural dyes have. When looking at a synthetic grey it is exactly that shade of grey. When looking at a natural grey you will see grey but maybe some browns and or blues as well.

This is sometimes cheated in fabric dyed with synthetic dyes by weaving strands of different colors together or by mixing synthetic dyes, but the end result is not the same as a naturally dyed piece of fabric.

However, it can be difficult to impossible to get the intensity and range of colors of synthetic dyes using natural dyes. You also cannot dye synthetic fibers using natural dyes, only synthetic dyes. So if you have a blended fabric you will need to dye it using synthetic dyes or only the natural fibers in the fabric will be dyed.

In order to get natural dyes to stick to the fabric a mordant or tannin needs to be used. A mordant is a metal salt that sticks to both the fabric and to the dye and allows the dye to stick to the fabric. The most common mordant used today is alum, a metal salt of aluminum, however, iron mordant is also used. Alum will not modify the color of the natural dye. Iron mordant will change the color of the dye, sometimes quite drastically!

Tannin, which is an astringent, binds with organic compounds, which means that natural dyes made with tannin heavy items do not need a mordant to be washfast.

Washfast means that dye will stay in the fabric. Without a mordant or tannins natural dye will wash out of fabric within a few rinses.

Most natural dyes are not lightfast. This means that light, particularly, sunlight will bleach or lighten the dye over time. However, there are natural dyes that are naturally more lightfast and will not change much over time.

The first step to natural dyeing is to collect dyeing tools. These are tools that will be only used to dyeing. They are tools that could also be used in the kitchen, so it is extremely important that you make sure to separate them away from any kitchen tools. Just because something is natural does not make it safe.

Tools that you will need include: stainless steel pots and bowls, glass jars, stainless steel tongs, wood dowls or spoons, a fine mesh sieve, heat resistant gloves, a rinse buckets, a wash line for drying, muslin and dust mask. You want to use stainless steel, wood, and glass tools as they are non-reactive and will not mess up your fabric or dyes.

Make sure that your workspace is in a well-ventilated area, either outside, or on the stove top with the vent on and drop clothes covering your surrounding area. You do not want to breathe the fumes or to have residue around that could irritate the skin. These steps are especially important if you have kids or pets.

Next you want to scour your fabric to get it ready for dyeing. Scouring is a process that removes and starch or oils that are in the fabric. Starches and oils can prevent dye from attaching to your fabric causing streaking and spotting. Be very careful with protein fibers as too much heat or agitation can damage it. This process uses a lot of heat, and all fabric will shrink some so make sure you have extra fabric than your final pattern needs.

After scouring your fabric, you will then need to use a mordant. There is a great explanation for making both alum and iron mordant in the library book The Wild Dyer by Abigail Booth. I highly recommend pick up this book if you are interested in natural dyeing. It is very informative, has great pictures of the final dye colors, and explains the process from start to finish in an easy-to-understand way. It was extremely useful to me in my research for this tidbit.

The process for using alum and iron mordant is very different so make sure you know the correct process for each before using! You will need to soak fabric in alum in order to make sure it works, but soaking fabric in iron mordant can damage fabric.

After you have worked out the mordant situation, it is time to dye!

Making a natural dye bath is a bit like making tea. First you add the material you are using to create a dye to water and then you heat it on low heat until it simmers. You allow this to simmer for at least an hour, lower times will create a stronger dye. After it has simmered to the correct dye level you take the dye bath off the heat and strain it using the muslin and the strainer, into a separate stainless steel dye pot, removing the plant, invertebrate or mineral used to create the dye.

Place the strained dye bath back onto the heat and submerge your prepared fabric, making sure to push out all the air bubbles! If you leave air bubbles it will expose fabric to the air and any fabric exposed to air will not be dyed.

You want to keep this mixture hot but not simmering for at least an hour. After that remove the pot from the heat but leave the fabric in the pot to soak at least overnight. Once your fabric has been left to soak and has reached the desired color, remembering that wet fabric looks darker than dried fabric will be, remove it and rinse it several times in the rinse bucket until the water goes clear. Then hang it to dry.

The cool thing about dyeing with natural dyes is that once you are finished with the dye bath the left-over mixture can be used to water your lawn or garden! You can also save dye baths to use in the future by storing them in glass jars.

The library has 5 natural dye programs planned, once a month from June to August and then two in September. All but the very last one, which is on the following Wednesday, take place on the second to last or last Monday of the month and begin at 6pm. Registration is required for these programs and registration will fill up quite fast so make sure you register early!

The different types of natural dye that you will get to learn about and practice with are:

Dyeing fabric red with Madder root
Dyeing fabric yellow with Osage Sawdust
Dyeing fabric pink with Cochineal
Dyeing fabric purple with Logwood chips
And the last program in the series is learning how an acid modifier changes the color produced by natural dyes.

These programs will be using alum as the mordant and the fabric provided in the programs will already be prepped with a tannin and mordant bath. There are plans for more programs using other natural dyes as well. These will incorporate other techniques that Sarah has done programs on in the past including batik.

Natural dyeing is a fun and sustainable way to dye fabric and I hope you register early and get to enjoy these programs!

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. Today I will be talking about a book in the Spanish collection, titled Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

Synopsis: Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. This edition features beautiful two-color artwork.

Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance.

But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.

Opinion: Heartstopper takes us to England when Nick and Charlie are assigned as classmates at an all-boys school. It tells the story of Charlie, an openly gay 14-year-old (although it wasn’t his decision to “come out”) and Nick, a 16-year-old rugby boy who thinks he’s straight, but the more time he spends with his new friend, he discovers that it may not be so.

Little by little and thanks to Nick’s sweetness, they become friends, even though the previous year Charlie did not have a good time as he was bullied when it was discovered that he was gay. While Charlie thinks Nick is straight and out of league, Nick is struggling to discover himself and make sense for his feelings for Charlie.

I’m not going to say much more because the story is short and I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but it is a super tender romance and the reader will fall in love with these two. It is a captivating story from start to finish. It leaves you wanting to have the next volume in your hand.

Although it is not a long book, you manage to connect with the characters from the beginning. They are some of the most innocent, lovable, and totally huggable protagonists I have ever read. It’s hard not to get attached to Charlie, Nick, and the rest of their friends. Reading Charlie afraid to express what he feels because he believes that Nick is straight and would never reciprocate his feelings, and on the other hand Nick not understanding very well what happens to him when he is with Charlie, melts anyone’s heart.

Something that I want to highlight are the illustrations that are also by the author Alice Oseman herself. A graphic novel cannot be fully enjoyed if the graphic part that accompanies the dialogues is not well achieved, and they are beautiful.

Outro: It is a highly recommended graphic novel. It is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Bye now.

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
June 1st Medicare 101 at 3pm in Jenkins Room A
June 2nd Apple Watch at 3pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 6th Happy Campers Summer Kick Off at 9am in the Jenkins Wing
June 7th Happily Ever Crafter: Amazing Ocean at 2pm in the Children’s Program Room
June 8th Paint Along with Bob Ross at 6pm in Jenkins Room B
June 9th National Archives: Ordering Data at 1pm in the Local History Room and on Zoom
-Registration is Required for the Zoom portion only
June 10th Mario Madness at 2pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 13th Learn Hubs Basics: Virtual Collaboration Spaces at 6pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 14th Koi Pond Wood Slice Painting at 6pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is Required
June 15th Children’s Summer Entertainment Series: Magically Every After at 2pm in the Jenkins Wing
June 16th Tween Time: Duct Tape Tote Bags at 4pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 18th What You Can Find at Our Family History Center at 11am in Jenkins Room B and on Zoom
-Registration is Required for the Zoom portion only
June 20th Dye Red with Madder Root at 6pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 22nd Adventures in Libraryland: Pilkey Palooza at 2pm in the Children’s Program Room
June 23rd Advanced iPads at 3pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 27th Summer Teen Scene at 5pm in the Teen Program Room
June 28th Organize Your Photos on Your Android Device at 3pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 29th Fiction Addition Book Club ages 9-12: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie at 6pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
June 30th Make a Bookmark Booklight at 4pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.