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.
After a fair amount of patience, I unwrapped the two bundles from yesterday’s eco-printing experiment.
Bundle 1 – the silk scarf bundled with eucalyptus leaves produced a nice golden scarf with darker gold leaf prints. And would you believe? I forgot to photograph it! Sorry.
However, as the result was similar to my first scarf, I decided to use it in today’s experiment, which I’ll post next.
Bundle 2 – the previously dyed pink/purple tie-dyed piece of silk which reminded me too much of Barbie – that I immersed in the dye bath, came out with some lovely variations of golden overlaying the pink and purple, muting those colours nicely. I photographed this one and it looks like this:
Pink purple dyed silk overdyed in eucalyptus leaf/bark dye bath
I love the colours now, and will probably hem this piece and use as a scarf. Of course I could turn it into a simple camisole top but I’m not sure if that will overstretch my sewing gene beyond it’s capacity.
My next post will cover today’s experiment with tea, iron and alum mordants.