Entries in dye (19)

Thursday
Oct042018

going down the rabbit hole

I am feeling very creative but only in one direction currently.  Which does make it very interesting for anyone reading a blog!  I still eat very well, bread is being baked, mending is being done (which I will take some pictures of soon), sewing is being done, my shop is being stocked over at Etsy, but I just want to work with plants!  I laugh at myself.  When I realized how easy it is to wrap plants in fabric with a little bit of moisture and see what happens, that is all of what I wish to do!  But it is pretty boring to anyone else unless you are interested in it as well.

There will be more around here then most people will want.

But I said I would write down the process so here it is.

The first thing you need to do is go collect plants.  Any plants.  Fall leaves give very nice prints.  I read where flowers do not print as well as you might expect.  Give it a try.

Lay those plants on top of a piece of fabric that has been dampened with mordant.  In this case, I used a 50% solution of white vinegar (50 percent vinegar, 50 percent water) in a spray bottle.  The flatter the plants are, the better they will print.  

I do not use cling wrap underneath the silk.  Using cling wrap limits how far the colors bleed through the layers.  It becomes more modern art doing it this way.  However, I have prints of leaves and acorns with out the cling wrap that are very clear.  In my class, many people used the cling wrap and there were a lot of leaves.  The little red maple leaves are especially clear.

If you wish to, you can add another layer.  I make big bundles.  This is a cotton sheet that has been ripped into lengths.  It was put into an iron solution where 1/2 teaspoon of iron sulfate was dissolved in 1 liter of water.  Again, this is a mordant.  The goal is to pull the color from the plants into the plant fiber.  On a protein fiber, a  mordant can make a color more vibrant or deeper.

I make sure every layer is damp, whether it is vinegar, tea, iron, whey, or soy milk.  Something.  Even plain water will act as a mordant because tap water has other chemicals and minerals in it.  You can even add some dye to your mordants to see what happens.

When your blundle is as big as you want it, tie it all up.  It needs to be rolled tight so if you think you will not roll it tight enough without help, roll it around a stick.  You can also put a weight on the end of the fabric so you have some resistance to pull against when you are rolling.

One of the tricks I learned at my class, was using a turkey roaster for steam.  My parents had one they did not use so I brought it home.  Put water in it, bring up to a boil, place your bundles in it and leave for 90 minutes.  If you do not wish the water to color the bundles in any way, left out of the water.  You can add dye to that water and over dye them as you are printing.

After 90 minutes, you can turn off the turkey roaster and wait for them to cool so you do not burn yourself.  That is my suggestion.  But if you cannot wait, you can open them right away to see what you will get.

Usually the unexpected.

I have been doing some reading and you can print by just making bundles.  Dampen the cloth or plants, or both.  Lay the bundle out the same and roll it up.  Just let it sit for awhile.  Open it like a surprise!  

I wish to play more with this technique.  The skirt I made recently, that I adore, I look at it and think, "I can mend it this way, print it that way, and dye like that" when it eventually starts to show wear.  Making witchy clothes.

I just do not feel like I have enough time to be creative!

Oh well.  More walks.  More plants.  More bundles.  I can just be told I am going a bit crazy.

Tuesday
May082018

being creative while tired

I am still tired.  I have a friend who thinks it is due to the pollen in the air.  The way my face has looked and my lungs feel, that would not surprise me.  I am happy I am not sick because there are also viruses going around but I do find being this tired makes it hard to be creative.  I can do the tasks in my processes that require repetitions quite easily because I do not have to think very hard.  Being truly creative is hard.

Dyeing has been fun.  I get to put things in pots and walk away.  Come back and stir.  Walk away and wait.  I can go sit and crochet or work on nine squares.  Creations that have points where I do not have to think very hard.  Just do.

I played with madder last week and ended up with the silk in the picture.  It looks almost like an antique burgundy or very dark antique rose in the sun.  Out of the sun, it looks like a chocolate.  It is a color I really like.  

This piece of silk was dyed with mulberry and beet.  Just a touch of iron.  The silk was actually dyed separately in the beet but it just made a gold.  That was until the mulberry was added.  The color in the sun looks like a sage green.  Lots of grey.  On my work table it looks almost silver.  I put a bit of it up in my Etsy store as ribbon. 

I have saved a good portion of the silk back as fabric.  I am tempted to make a slip with it.  I have not had a slip sell in my shop but I do wear them.  I like the lightness of the china silk for slips but then they add more warmth then expected.  I get cold easily.  Combine the mulberry beet fabric with the madder fabric.  It could be very interesting!  

I find that "talking" thoughts out are a good place to be creative when nothing else seems to be working.  Thank you for all who read my posts for the ears.  You get to listen to my babble.  

There is camping in the desert this coming weekend.  I am hoping it will break some of the allergy reactions.  Then maybe I will have some energy back?  I can hope.

Saturday
Mar242018

creating

I have been working with plant dye again.  I ran out of some colors for my Etsy shop.  I am going to be playing with some new colors as well.  There is black bean and cabbage with hibiscus here.  I want subtle colors but I also want to play.  But this type of playing is slow.  My life seems to be a lot of things that take time lately.  Not that I really mind.

I have a pot of beets and vinegar dyeing silk right now.  I am hoping I get the dark antique rose I got last time.  If not, I do need another slip.  I use every bit of what I make for something!  And I do find colors grow on me over time.  Sometimes I need to put them away because at first they are a disappointment.  

It has been an interesting week.  I am curious to see what next week brings but I can wait as well.  More dye will definitely be in my future!

Thursday
Feb152018

beets

I went to get dressed the other day and realized the slip I had pulled out was losing pieces of itself.  I was not incredibly surprised because it had been store bought and not that expensive.  I had even cut some of the lace off of it in the past so I could wear it under more dresses.  It did mean I needed to make a new slip.

I went into my plant dyed silk reject pile and pulled out a few pieces.  There were a couple pieces I liked now.  I realized that I had used red beets to dye the silk.  At the time, I did not like the results.  I think I thought it should be more dramatic and less subtle.

A couple pieces had been dyed with just beets and a couple others had had iron sulfate added to the dye bath.  Pulling the silk out, I had an antique like rose and a green.  Neither was in your face color but that is not usually what you want for a slip.  Especially since I like white shirts and I do not want people wondering what is under the shirt.

I actually pieced the silk together to cut large enough pieces to cut a front and back.  The binding and straps were not a problem, just the width.  When I am playing with dye, I like using smaller pieces of fabric so if I do not like what I am making, I have not wasted much.

As I put together a quilt top, I also stitched on the slip.  

I really like how it came together.  And I stitched heart cut from a cotton calico to be its tag.

The colors really change depending on the light.  It is something I am going to need to observe.

Time to play with more beets!

Tuesday
Dec052017

indigo

I have been playing with indigo recently.  I actually think it has been the easiest plant dye I have used becasue it is the fastest.

Within a couple hours of work, this is what I had drying on the line.  It is gorgeous.  One of the boyos thought I should sell it as is.

I actually tore it into four bits.  This piece I washed and hung up again to dry.  It became ribbons in my Etsy shop. 

I took a piece and have it soaking in iron water.  I am curious to see how that will turn out but I am now in the process of waiting.  I will take that piece out of the iron water sometime this weekend.  The other two pieces are being over dyed with another plant.  I am hoping for a blue green but we will see.

Indigo is fast.  The other plants, not so much.