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Archive for the ‘Eco-dyeing’ Category

New crafting video uploaded despite audio alerts!

Nuno felt eco printed closeup.jpg

Don’t you love it when you’ve promised yourself an early night and have everything nicely uploading to YouTube, for a smooth publish, including subtitles and a nice little hand-made thumbnail – then listening to the newly published video you realise some of the background music is more foreground music? When you listen to the video, you are suddenly jarred into alert!!

Gawd.  So what do you do?  Stomp around swearing with a-gnashing-of-teeth?

I sure felt like it.  But would be the point of that?  I’d end up with high blood pressure and a few years of enamel ground down off my molars, and I’d still have to re-upload the video.  I mean, I wouldn’t want anyone watching it with headphones to have their eardrums blasted into their amygdalas.

So, deep breath, stoic expression, shuffle around on typing chair and off we go again.

Back into Premiere Pro, fine-tuning the audio gain, re-compressing for YouTube, waiting for half an hour for re-compression only to find the pc’s been waiting for me to answer “do you want to save over your old file?” “YESSSS!!!”. Back to lounge for another half an hour.  Upload and wait for two or so hours, while I re-write the tags, but thankfully only paste the description as at least one part of me had been alert during the process.

So, now it’s all loaded, with subtitles re-edited, and a nice new end template to boot.

YouTube have kindly notified Twitter, who is kindly posting on my Facebook page, so all I have left to do is notify a couple of other felting and eco-printing sites and I’m good to go – to bed that is.

It’s way past my bed time and of course, it coincides with the one day I’ve arranged to start walking with my husband at some crack of dawn hour tomorrow morning!

Having had a proper whinge now though, (and thank you for reading this far, I really appreciate you ‘listening’), I must say, I love the video.  It isn’t long, but I think it’s quite a good tutorial.  I mean, if you like felting and eco-dyeing and want to learn to make a nuno felt scarf that you can eco-dye for extra dimension and colour, it’s definitely the video for you! Check it out here.

Overall

Vintage Kimono finally loves lavender

What do you do when your eco-printing results flop big time?

I’d forgotten just how disappointing that can be.  My latest creative efforts have been very satisfying, so I felt a bit slugged when today’s experiment went south.  In one day, I went from anticipation, to disappointment, to determination, to delight. Here’s how.

I’m in a real creative phase at the moment, and this morning woke up itching to dye something.  I rummaged in one of my cupboards and came across a brown paper bag stuffed to bursting with some old (literally – they’re vintage) linings from kimonos that a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago to eco-print.

kimono silk.jpg

Using one oblong of silk that had once graced the inside of a kimono (and perhaps a geisha’s) sleeve, I set about eco-printing it with some kale slaw mix from Aldi, as I figured all the ingredients in that had potential to give up their dye.  I also threw on some cut red onion and a few lychee skins for good measure.

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All excited, I wrapped it tightly in a bundle and waited for it to steam.  Well, I didn’t wait, I distracted myself with another project until the timer went off.

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Like a kid in a toy shop, when it was cool enough, I unravelled the string and swept away the damp plant material … only to be massively disappointed.

The kale hadn’t left any marks, the lychees, only an imprint. The only marks given up had come reluctantly from the red cabbage, beetroot and onion.  After hanging the soaking strip out to dry, I was comforted to note a slight oxidation on the lychees, but overall, I had to admit that this wasn’t my most spectacular result.  The strongest part of the print was the smell – reminiscent of vegetable soup.

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As I had to do the weekly shopping, I set off to the shops in town, all the time pondering in the back of my mind how I could do the vintage silk more justice.  Cruising past the vegetables in IGA, my little eye spied a large red cabbage.  Perfect!  I brought it home heavily disguised as family food, then purloined it for a higher purpose. I must admit, knowing my two boys’ (husband and teenage son) taste in brassicas, it wouldn’t be hugely missed.

A few hours later of multi-tasking: dying with preparing the family dinner – which I didn’t think would be a problem with this eco-dye, considering the most toxic chemical I used to shift the dye colour was cooking salt – I eventually brought into life two unique creations.

The first was chicken Mediterranean style cooked with mirepoix, capsicum, passata and Moroccan spices which looked and tasted rather good, if you’ll pardon the self-praise.

The second was the rather gorgeous cabbage-dyed vintage kimono silk.

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I know, it looks like something I could have dragged out of a river in this photo, but as you’ll see shortly, it dried beautifully.

One amusing result was the queen’s head which imprinted from one of the 50 cent pieces that I ‘shirboried’ before dyeing.  I think the coin must have had a chemical on its surface, because the bright purple image is a lot sharper than the other shades of lavender from the cabbage.  Here it is directly after untying the bundle. Once dried and ironed, I noticed some interesting and unexpected small dark brown oval marks on the fabric.  It occurred to me suddenly that these marks were where the lychee skin had been, and it was possibly tannin from the skin that had highlighted the dye in those areas!

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Finally, here is the result, showing just how beautiful natural dyeing can be, especially when imparted onto a natural material, and in particular, one that has aged as gracefully as the Japanese lady who once wore it.

red-cabbage-kimono

So many eco-tees!

…And lots of other things as well!

Since I wrote my last post, I have bundled, boiled, dried, rinsed, dried and ironed quite a few new eco-printed shirts and tees. All ready for the CWA Easter Art & Craft Twilight Market on 4th April.

Rather than bore you with the details, which are similar as for previous posts, I’ll add a gallery of my latest beautiful nature-painted clothes.

I’ve taken photos of them in the last few moments of sunlight in front of our mini-rainforest – so the colours of the eco-dyed clothes are enhanced by the trees and bushes, and natural light.

Eco tees, black bean dye and Gratitude Cards …

Some silk and cotton prints.

Some silk and cotton prints.

… My feet haven’t touched the ground lately! Well, they have really, thank goodness, to keep me grounded with so much creativity bursting into life after a year of drought!

I’ll be updating this blog tomorrow with all the goodies that have been birthing, but here is a quick photo of some of the eco-dyeing to whet your appetite!

 

First two decks of Gratitude cards!

Over-dyeing with eucalyptus

A few days ago, I experimented dyeing an old tee shirt and cotton scarf which had not been mordanted, but had been washed. I used turmeric and paprika powders from my cupboard and eco-printed with Eucalyptus cinerea leaves dipped in iron water.

After boiling for 2 hours the result was bright yellow turmeric areas, with smudgy black leafy areas.  I dried them but wasn’t really happy with them. I just don’t like the colours! They’re too garish. I didn’t really think it through but just grabbed what I had in the pantry!

Yellow Tee shirt yellow scarf

Undeterred, and not liking to waste a good under-painting, I washed them and dipped in milk/water mordant then dried again.

Today after dipping in water/milk again, I laid out a heap of Eucalyptus leaves from my garden and Eucalyptus cinerea that had been soaking in water with a bit of vinegar.

Yellow tee with leavesThen they got bundled up and as I write they’re still boiling in a bath of water stocked with more eucalyptus leaves and bark.

bundle Tee bundle with bands

There was space in the top of the pot to place an upturned colander, so I bundled up some more paper and leaves (just Eucalyptus leaves this time) and stashed them on there. I covered the pot with al-foil, and secured it with string to keep the steam in.

After a couple of hours or so, I’ll take them all out and leave the cloth as long as I can before opening them.  Good luck with that Madame Impatience!

Blue and eucalyptus eco dyeing

Blue bundlesOoh, what’s in the bundles?  They’re blue and tightly wrapped.  There’s a bit of brown showing through too …

On Monday, I spent the day catching up on unfinished business.  The business of eco-dyeing.  I’ve had such a sparse time of it over the last few months because of work commitments that I was pretty damn stir crazy by the time I’d gathered my leaves and excitedly brought home my first bunch of Eucalyptus Cinerea from the florists.

The other leaves were collected from my driveway and garden, blown roughly to the ground by cyclone Marcia that made her way through our town a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily, Marcia had spent her energy except for gallons of rain that she dumped on us on her way down from Yepoon where she’d crossed from the ocean to the land.

Our normally fairly dry creek burst its banks due to the constant downpour and king tides that had something to do with keeping the river backed up with water for a day or two.  Here’s one of the local road on the first morning …

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As you can imagine, lots of children were hugely disappointed at not being able to attend school – along with adults who also couldn’t make work because the roads were cut off…

Disappointed.  Sure.  *Smiles*.

Anyway, while cyclone Marcia brought devastation to homes and crops north of here, along with flooding to the south, she did kindly provide me with windfall leaves that I eagerly collected for my dye pot.

I had two second-hand cotton tee shirts that I’d pre-mordanted a few months ago and kept until I had the time to dye them.

Sunday was that day.

I was so eager to get the bundles into the pot that I forgot to photograph the layout of the leaves.  Sorry about that.

Anyhow, here’s the reveal, with a selection of photos. I love the shade of blue imparted by the natural Aquarelle botanic liquid dye.

After they’d dried, I rinsed them in water to wash off remnants of leaves and mordant.  Then ironed them.  Then hung them out to dry.  They have lost some of their depth of colour, but I have to say, I really love them and am pleased at how they’ve turned out.

I also now have two eco-dyed silk scarves using the same eco colour palette.  Here they are side by side.  What do you think?

Two blue scarves with eucI love the tie die lines from the bundling string on the bottom scarf.  I also love the depth of colour from the leaves on the other scarf.

My next project was two un-mordanted cotton items that I stuffed with leaves, tied and boiled in turmeric water.  That produced an interesting result. But more on that next blog post.

Dyeing to show you Tee and Scarf

After about a year of drought in the creative department, I am happy to say I feel a sense of surge of passion for dyeing and felting again!  Here is a sneak peek of two eco-dyeing projects from yesterday. They’re still drying and will be washed and re-dryed to make sure there’s no mordant left before wearing, but I wanted to show you the results.

I used saved onion skins and various eucalyptus leaves from my garden.

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

Tee shirt onion and euc

This one is a close up of the tee shirt – showing how well the eucalyptus leaves and onion skins have developed. I also love how there are dark patches with white lines, from the string I tied the bundle with!

Testing raspberry, blueberry and red cabbage

Today I have set up a test using calico (pre-mordanted with alum) in raspberry, blueberry and red cabbage dyes using cold extraction in the presence of (1) vinegar and (2) ammonia.

The berries are frozen, and the red cabbage came straight from the fridge, as I believe after reading India Flint’s book that heat can alter the colouring, whereas extracting dyes from frozen can often produce brighter, more vibrant results.

I put a teaspoon of household ammonia in the alkaline pots (it is really stinky lol), and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar in the acid pots.

I am using tap water so this will also alter outcome as it has not been filtered.

In each glass jar is one small piece of calico and also a small piece of calico bundled with the material and tied with an elastic band.

Hopefully my patience will last for a week and I’ll leave these in the shade to develop.

 

Latest results from eco-dyeing

Where did those days go?  I’ve a few photos of results from the last couple of eco-dyeing batches, which I’ll list below.

Results of experiments dyeing calico and silk with brown onion skins in various mordants

Onion skin swatches of various mordants/material

Onion skin swatches of various mordants/material

Eco-printing alum mordanted calico with rusty nails, paprika, turmuric and fennel seeds

Paprika, turmeric, fennel seeds, rusty iron nails

Paprika, turmeric, fennel seeds, rusty iron nails

Results

Paprika, turmuric, fennel seeds in iron bath

Paprika, turmuric, fennel seeds in iron bath

Eco-printing calico with fresh eucalyptus leaves

Fresh eucalyptus leaf print, green

Fresh eucalyptus leaf print, green

Experimenting with capsicum leaf – turned yellow/green and rosemary – turned pink

Capsicum leaf (yellow), rosemary leaves (pink)

Capsicum leaf (yellow), rosemary leaves (pink)

 

 

 

Eco-dye results of alum, tea & iron on silk

After waiting for the scarves to cool, I unwrapped them, picked off the leaves, hung them out to dry – and then rinsed them in water with splash of vinegar (silk likes that) and finally ironed them dry.

Scarf 1

Although the kale didn’t make any difference as far as I could see, the tea leaves left nice golden brown marks along the scarf, and the ends that were on the outside of the bundle, where they touched the rusty mozzie coil holder, had turned dark grey.  The effect is very pleasing:

Scarf over-dyed with tea on eucalyptus dyed silk. Dark grey spots from rust.

Scarf over-dyed with tea on eucalyptus dyed silk. Dark grey spots from rust.

Scarf 2

I really like how this one turned out.  While the sage leaves didn’t really leave any colour, they did act as pale resists in some places.  However, the roibus created some vivid russet marking and the black tea produced grey.

Scarf dyed with tea, roibus, iron, rust and alum

Scarf dyed with tea, roibus, iron, rust and alum

Where the dye-bath (tea, rusty iron, alum) saturated the material, it stained it a lovely dark grey-black.  There is a pattern that repeats, showing how it was folded, and the bull dog clips acted as strong resists that left clear marks on the background.

Scarf freshly unbundled, before ironing showing repeating pattern created by folding material pre-dyeing.

Scarf freshly unbundled, before ironing showing repeating pattern created by folding material pre-dyeing.

This scarf has given me the confidence to experiment further with different dye-baths, and eco-print materials and mordants!

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