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Posts tagged ‘iron’

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 …

159

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.

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!

Eco-dyeing silk with alum, tea, iron

Today’s experiment took me beyond my comfort zone of familiar eucalyptus.

Scarf 1

Using the golden eucalypt-dyed silk scarf from yesterday’s experiment which turned out very similar to my first attempt, I decided to over-print with some leaves I had on hand.

First of all, I dipped the scarf in an alum solution and ironed it dry.

To this I added tea leaves and kale leaf pieces on half of the scarf.  I folded it and rolled it tightly on a tea tree twig. I tied it tightly with twine (tighter than yesterday  in the hope that if any leaf prints came out, they’d be in better contact with the silk).

Scarf 2

For the second silk scarf, I scattered roibus tea leaves and black tea leaves from my cupboard, and some fresh sage leaves from the herb garden.  I folded this in half and half again several times until I had a small square that I secured with bull-dog clips.

The dye pot

Using an enamel bowl (kindly donated by my lovely neighbour), I boiled 4 teabags and some rusty iron nails, as I wanted to produce a dark brown/black.  For good measure, I added what was left of the alum solution from Scarf 1.

I stood a rusty mozzie (mosquito) coil holder in the pot and put Scarf 1 on top.  I immersed Scarf 2 into the dye liquid.

Black dye pot

Covered enamel dye bath

Covered enamel dye bath

Covering the pot with aluminium foil, I boiled it for a total of 65 minutes.

Then I took them out to cool and at the moment they are hanging up drying.

Two bundles drying in sink

Two bundles drying in sink

I’ll post the results tomorrow.

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