Entries in dye (22)



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!



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!



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.


Dyeing with Western hemlock

When we were at the mountain last, I brought back branches of Western hemlock for dyeing.  It was easy because if any branch hit me in the head or caught me down one of our roads, I cut it back.  I am very deadly with a pair of lopers.  But then, I keep meaning to do it down the path I walk most often in the city and have not yet.  Soon.  Maybe when it cools down a bit.

I put these needles on the stove and let them bubble away.  It smelled like Christmas or home.  I really did not wish to take the pot off the stove!

But I did.  I added silk and let it sit for a week.  The fabric came out a golden tan.  Not very exciting.  I took half of it and put it in an iron bath.

The fabric became this chocolate brown with a lot of variation in it.  There are even portions that look copper.  I did not get a picture of it blowing in the breeze because the sun was too bright every time I tried.  It is another colour where I may have to make some just for myself for slips.  Or dye silk for a carpenter dress.  I just had that thought!  That would be amazing.  It would be very interesting to see what the cotton silk fabric dyes like with hemlock and iron.  I feel myself plotting and mulling!

I put the ribbons up on my Etsy shop.  It is where I usually put my ribbon experiments.  

I have another piece of silk with the same combination sitting.  I will take it out of the iron bath on Monday.  The iron water was not as dark for that piece of fabric so it will be very interesting what will happen.  Part of me wishes to head back to the mountain and do more gathering.  I had a field of daisies.  Maybe soon.


playing with hibiscus and soy

I few weeks back, I played with soy mordant and hibiscus for dyeing.  This is what came out of the dye pot.  The middle piece is cotton, then there is a cotton/silk piece, and a china silk piece.

This is how it came out of the washing machine.  The cotton is not white even though it looks so in the picture.  When it is placed next to white it comes out to the eye as the palest of blush or mauve.  There is a bit of grey tone in the pink.  

The middle is the cotton/silk piece.  I am working on a slip that has a lot of embroidery on it that I am using this for.  That gold tone comes out but there is just a bit of blush to it.  Again, it is all about how the light hits it.

The piece is the china silk.  Mauve, almost grey.  It is really pretty but not what I expected.

It is really hard to capture with a camera and then broadcast it on a computer screen.  I took half the china silk and added an iron mordant.  Basically, a bowl of rust water.

It is the prettiest silky grey green.  Hanging from the clothes line or a ribbon floating in the house is beautiful.  I am thinking about making a hand sewn chemise with it.  I am not sure there is enough here but I can add strips of more, or just dye more and make this into ribbons.  This is one of those I could keep all too myself.  But then I would fill my house.  

I am going to have to dye more soon.  There is a cabbage waiting.  I do like dyeing with things that can go into the compost and feed my garden.  There was broccoli from the garden last night.  And there is amaranth flowers I wish to pick to see how they dye.  Experimentation.  Pretty cool.