For this test I soaked the Echinodontium tinctorium in a sodium carbonate solution for a few months before using it. The dye solution was a bright orange and the results were a much more vibrant, brighter red orange. Moving forward I will pre-soak all my E.T. in a high alkaline solution well in advance before using it to make dye or pigment.
E.T. as I affectionately call it (I grew up with the movie E.T. as a kid :-) really loves to soak in water for as long as possible. It is more like working with bark or roots from natural dyes. The longer you soak it the more color you will extract. It soaked for 5 days before I cooked up the dye bath. You could probably have done a multi day soak again after cooking it up to extract even more color.