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Posts tagged ‘lavender’

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

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Two more scarves for the markets

Nov '13 Glasshouse Market stall

Nov ’13 Glasshouse Market stall

Yesterday, along with the Poppy Scarf, I also made a couple more nuno felt scarves using a hand-dyed piece of chiffon that I cut into one thin and one wider strip. I was very industrious as I was working towards today’s Glasshouse Market stall, and the next few markets before Christmas.

Without going into the ins and outs of the whole production, here are some photos of the finished scarves.

Open weave Thai scarf – great to felt!

Today I woke up bright and early, thanks to a reasonably early night.  The sun was shining and it was a perfect day to make some felt.

Wool and open weave scarf

Wool and open weave scarf

Taking the lavender open weave Thai scarf that I recently hand-dyed, I chose some matching and complimentary colours and got to work on the layout.

The scarf length was a tad shorter than I’d begin with, being 150cm, but I added some wool to make tassles and after playing around with the layout until I was happy, began felting.

I had to work it harder than when I felt onto silk chiffon or tissue silk.  I think because the cotton used for each part of the weave is tightly wound, and therefore harder for the little strands of wool to thread through them.

It’s not the first time I’ve worked on an open weave cotton, and I always like the finished result, despite wondering if it’s going to ‘stick’ together half way through lol.

Layout for cotton open weave scarf

Layout for cotton open weave scarf

There’s a picture of the finished scarf below showing both sides of the scarf and the tassles at each end.

You like?

Nuno scarf on open weave cotton scarf

Nuno scarf on open weave cotton scarf

Raspberry lavender nuno silk scarf

First, the scarf

Silk and pc covered

Silk on bubble wrap, some of the materials to be used and my pc covered up

It’s now 5.36pm and following up on my previous post from about 2pm, here are some photos of my finished nuno silk scarf and a rough ‘tutorial’ for anyone interested in the finer points of making a nuno scarf.

As it’s mother’s day coming up, I wanted to create a scarf with a floral accent.

I used tissue silk which I’d hand dyed a raspberry shade.  The colours of the merino wool included hand dyed raspberry and dark lavender, plus a blend of lime and blue/green to give a variegated leaf colour, plus tiny amounts of lilac and pink.

I also used hand-dyed silk rovings as well as textured wool.

Everything went well and it took about three hours to complete this project.

As usual, I pushed my boundaries, this time seeing how little wool I could lay onto the silk that would give a good effect while leaving the finished scarf as light and delicate as possible.  In the final photo, you can see a closeup of the scarf showing some of the detail and also how see-through it is, with my fingers showing through the material.

This is also the first time I’ve used this specific colour combination and I like the effect.  When laying out the edging along the silk, which prevents fraying and effectively hems the scarf without sewing, I began one end all raspberry and by the time I laid out the wool towards the other end, had gradually changed the colour to the dark lavender.  When I laid out the two end ‘roses’, I also alternated the petal colouring accordingly.

All in all, I’m very happy with this scarf.  I’d love your feedback too.

5:2 Fasting update

On the fasting note (from this morning’s post), I found the afternoon went quickly without feeling starving.  I think being busy helped as well as drinking water, black coffee and roibus tea. I’m looking forward to more soup this evening and if calories allow (I think they do), a small amount of chicken breast as well.  Yum!

Felting Scarf photo gallery

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