Entries in dye (22)


cabbage and hibiscus

I seem to play with something everyday.  Lately, when I dye fabric, I have been wishing to do something that is a bit more friendly to me.  Many of the mordants are not people friendly.  It is the stuff that helps dye set in fabric.  I have been seeing people use soy milk.  So I figured why not.  Soybeans are fairly inexpensive and they compost.  I may not like the smell but that is not a big deal.

I set a cup of soybeans to soak for a couple days.  Put them in a blender with a bit of water.  Blended for about 5 minutes.  Strained the liquid off of them and added more water.  I needed enough liquid to soak the fabric I wanted to use.  This first time I heated the soy milk with the fabric in it.  I decided that was a mistake.  Soybean when heated can leave waxy spots.

Those are the dark spots on the fabrics.  The cotton silk piece picked up more of the wax then 100% silk bits.  Since this was a first pass, I am going to use this piece for me.  I have some slips I need to make since I have ones falling apart.  I am working with a hibiscus dye pot where I did not eat the soy milk and that seemed to make difference.  

This dye pot was red cabbage and hibiscus.  It seemed to make a grey with blue tones.  The piece that I added iron to became a grey teal.  They are very pretty.  I have started to use the ribbons already.

I like this play.  The ribbons I am making are really nice on my slips.  More experiments to happen in the future.



Me and plant dye.  I never get what I expect.  I boiled beets for an hour and got this wonderful red fluid.

But this is what I got.  Some change.  Not a lot of change.  I think I may need to add vinegar to the pot.  I also saw some posts on youtube where people peeled their beets.

Rabbit holes.  I just keep falling down rabbit holes.  But I will figure it all out.  Experimentation is life.  Or is it called play.  

I am not going to get to experiment much this month.  Koda Bear is going back to the Tall Short Person next week.  I will like getting away to Washington.  I am also thinking about going to a renegade trade show.  It will require some travel and I may get to see some of Joshua Tree National Park at the same time.  Back and then gone.  That sounds about right for me!  With time in a tent.  Life is good.


a bit of a rabbit hole

Life really has not been quiet lately.  Between what is going on in the world, preparing to take Koda Bear back to the Tall Short Person, and things not working out quite right, I find I need quiet.  Sleep would help too but the boyos are not helping there.

When I can get a chance, I have been working on a quilt.  The top is put together.  The back is done.  It is basted together.  I have sewing to do before I am on the road but what I really would like to work on is the quilting of this.  Might not happen.

I have been playing with plant dye and this week does not seem very successful.  It will be interesting to see what happens with the two pieces of silk I am working with now.  I cooked beet and tried to dye with that.  Not what I have been expecting so far.  Same is true with everything else I have been working on with dye.  Except my hands.  My hands show the work.

Oh well.  That is life.



Before we had a cold snap and lots of rain, I collected rose petals in my yard and on my walk.  They were all pinks and reds.  Into a pot they went.  Then, they were strained out and silk was dyed.  I have been having fun with the plant dyeing.  

I have been asked to be very specific about what I meant about dyeing!

I never get what I expect.  These are the rose dyes.  One is just rose petals.  One is rose petals and soda ash.  Those two are the ones that look almost the same.  The green is adding iron to the rose petal infusion and silk.  I really like the green but the others I do not care for.

I have tried pumpkin guts and that was mostly gold and almost no colour at all.  I have tried to repeat the black bean which did not work.  I had let the black bean ferment a bit last time and I think that made a difference.  This is all learning which is why I found  a place to buy cheap silk.  Good quality just cheap prices.  

I think I wish to try cabbage again and beets.  I have endive infusing currently.  I do not expect much I can hope.  I am hoping for interesting greys.  The worst will be nothing.  And even that is not bad.  It is just learning.  Learning is always good.


well, there has not been an explosion

When I am experimenting with plant dye, the boyos complain about the stinky.  I have moved into the unfinished cob building.  The Teahouse it is referred too.

I need to make some cob and finish the windows.  There will be less wind coming through and possibly less mosquitoes.  But, I do not know when that will happen.  There is a place for a counter and I need to build that as well.

Right now, I using an old turkey fryer that was just laying around.  It was not in the best of the condition.  I am playing with bean soaking water again and when I went out after raising the flame a tad, the line to the propane at the junction to the fryer was on fire!  An earth building is a good place for this action to take place.  I will either have to fix the hose, get a new fryer, or find another useable heat source for my dye.  Most plant dyes need some type of heat source.

I do like having a place to work that I can keep things set up.  A place to work as well that has less chance to go up in flames too.  With a gravel floor, spilling is not a big deal either.  I just wish the pumpkin pulp dyeing had turned out better.  Oh well.  More experimentation needed!