Entries in dye (22)


black bean dyed ribbon

I checked out the book Natural Color from the library.  The theme was to dye fabrics with foraged or compostable materials.  Oh, I am done with this bit in the kitchen but I can use that bit for dye type of thing  I now own the book.  

I have gone down a rabbit hole when it comes to dyeing.  I am starting to wonder, what will happen if I boil that or infuse this and then add silk.  I am making my own ribbon for my slips and nightgowns.  Well, maybe not nightgowns but I have thought about it.  I like simple white linen.

The last pot of black beans I made, I saved the soaking liquid.  Strained it.  Brought it to a boil and added silk.  I let that boil away for about an hour or so.  I wanted pale colours.

Then I divided the fabric into thirds.  One I left alone.  One I added to black bean water with soda ash added.  One tub had iron sulfate added.  I let this sit overnight.

Three different colours of ribbon.  With interesting tones.  They are varied and I swear in different lights they look pinkier then I expected.  Pink?  Really?  The one that had a soda ash added has a bit of a lavender hue in certain lights.  

It just makes me wish to do more.  I want to walk and find pecans and acorns and see what they do.  I have pumpkins that I am roasting and I am thinking about boiling their innards and left over shells before I add them to the compost.  And then there is purple cabbage.  I really like the color that purple cabbage creates.  

But I have been asked to start working outside.  Due to smell.  I need to clean out the not quite finished tea house for that!  And raise the floor.  Today it would be flooded.  Gravel and a propane bottle are needed to proceed.

I did post some ribbon for sale in my Etsy shop.  It is what I am not going to use in the near future.



So last weekend I put linen in a pot with marigold.  The marigold flowers produce a yellow colour and I wanted to see.  I can grow these in my garden in autumn so I am very curious.  

It turned out to be a nice yellow.

Now.  The crazy right now is that I cut this out as a dress before I dyed it.  But I want to wear is black or grey or dark burgundy or anything that is so dark that it is hard to tell it is not black or a very dark brown.  Yellow really is not a top choice right now.  But I was playing.  I will use what I was playing with.  I can always wear the dress to walk in or dye things in.  A dyed dress that has traces of other dyes.  That could be pretty cool.

I am thinking about trying a bit of madder on the cotton silk fabric I have.  To make another slip.  A red slip for under black dresses.  And buying some linen sheets in black and charcoal because it seems like the only place to find the right colours for what I wish to wear.  I keep skipping the light coloured clothes in my wardrobe unless they are the only thing to wear.  


partially successful

The week before last I received a shipment of fabric that I ordered.  I want to play with plant dye more but it did not make sense to buy locally.  Prices for white fabric were double what I could pay online at Dharma Trading Company.  And since I am playing, I waited for the order.

I was too ambitious.  I cut a two yard bit of linen and a two yard bit of a cotton/silk blend.  Simmered them in alum for an hour and then put them in a pot of strained red cabbage juice.

That was Sunday and I had a chance to open the pot today after gardening.

Any day I am home I pull weeds.  Mostly grass.  I do think I have some zinnias coming up under the squashes and between the mint.

After rinsing, and soaking six inches of my gardening dress, I hung the fabric.  The two darker pieces have silk in them and seemed to take to the cabbage juice very well.  I have read that protein fibers actually take dye better.  The linen not so much.  Not even the lavender blue I have seen with red cabbage.  I am going to buy two more cabbages on my errands today and try again once this drys.  

I want to play with the marigold dye I bought this weekend.  I am going to start haunting some of the garden and hardware stores in the area to see when the marigolds and chysanthemums come out.  I am planning to buy bunches and plant them in the yard.  I am already ready for autumn so the colours will sooth but then I am also thinking about my dye pots.  Grow my own.  I can see my garden becoming a dye garden with not too many vegetables.

I cannot dig up the backyard.  The boyos use is for motorbike runs.  They pretend they are prestigious dirtbikers.  My life.  Maybe I should by an empty lot for gardening.  It is a thought.


a shirt that was going to become a work shirt

I have gotten a really good sunburn this summer.  It was on the way to Estes Park.  Because of this, I now have some 50 spf sunscreen in the house.  It does not look like there is colour to it but when it hits a white shirt, guess what.  The white turns a beige orange.  My Beloved had it on his arms and neck when we were traveling in my truck.  My truck does not have A/C so there is no protection from the sun with the windows.\

This shirt was going to become a work shirt but I decided I was going to play with some of the dye I bought.  All plant dye and I know I have a long way to go but why not.  Also, I knew I really did not have enough weight of dye for the weight of fabric.  I used alkanet with a 25 % addition of iron to the quantity of dye.  

I boiled the shirt in alum and then simmered it in the dye bath.  I let it simmer for about two hours.  This was probably not the wisest thing to do in the middle of summer.  It is like doing hot bath canning.  How humid can you make your kitchen or house?  Very.

It is not as dark as I hoped.  But the stains are covered so it can be worn someplace other then the shop.

I am going to play with alum, vinegar, salt, and red cabbage this weekend.  I am making a black apron dress and I am going to dye the slip dress for underneath it.  There is another goal for the apron dress but getting two workings out of the way with one project works for me.  I just do not have a three day weekend this week because I had a four day weekend last week.  Less time for projects.  Oh well.  That is life.


try try again

I am home safe and sound.  It was an easy trip but I am still getting the bugs out of the car.  Now, if I can get the Check Engine message to trip for the mechanic!

I came home to a box of plant dye and that was exciting.  Before my travels started this summer, I had started to play with plant dye.  There is hibiscus and red cabbage in the picture above.  But the linen I dyed was a very old linen nightgown and it did not seem to hold the red cabbage.  After a wash, it came out basically white.

I got two red cabbage and decided to try again.  I soaked my very old linen nightgown in soda ash for the mordant.  I cooked the cabbage in water for 45 minutes. I strained out the cabbage solids.

In went the nightgown.  With the soda ash, the cabbage give a light green.  I let the nightgown soak overnight.  Actually, it was more like 24 hours.

                                                  photo courtesy of Koda Bear

The nightgown was a lovely pale green.  It was not the lavender blue I was expecting but it was pretty.  The next step was to wash it and let it dry.  The mordant is supposed to help the dye sink into the fiber and become fast.  Unless I understood incorrectly.  Which is extremely possible.

Because when I washed it, all the colour came out.  It does appear cleaner and whiter which is one aspect of soda ash. 

I have some alum which I think I will try next.  I need to pick up two more cabbages and give it another try.  I would sigh but I figure I am learning more by trail and error then I would learn in a class. 

That is where my life is.