Chapters

29 August 2014

More Eco Dyeing Experiments

Paper Bark Birch and Black Walnut leaves from two of my favorite trees. These samples were steamed with alum and white vinegar mordants
I have been taking a break from social media and being online. Not totally, but I have cut way back. I found that I was simply spending too much time online and not enough time actually 'doing'. It actually feels good to be a bit more "unhooked" for the time being, although I am certain that the pendulum will swing again at some point. 

I feel as if I lost a good bit of my summer being chair bound for 2.5 months, but I am enjoying playing a bit of "catch up" now! 

The week before last I started driving again, and I felt like a teenager with a newly printed license! I have gained more empathy for elders who no longer can drive. It is not a fun thing to be dependent on people to get every little thing for you all of the time!  I am also deferring my surgery for a bit. The thought of another back surgery is quite 'off-putting' for me and so, until the pain is once again too much, I will wait.

One of the things that I had planned to do at the beginning of the season was to learn some more about eco-dyeing. I love the kismet of this experience. There are some successes along with  a lot of "meh" results as well.
Black Walnut leaves
One of the things that I am currently experimenting with is what mordants work the best and how much, or how little, moisture I need to achieve the best prints from leaves. I have a project in mind and so I am just using small squares of silk noil from Dharma Trading do my experimenting with - along with my supply of "stashed" silks too.
Paper Bark Birch Leaves
The first thing that everyone asks when they see these samples is "what will you make from them?". Well, I am not sure what exactly, although I do have a project in mind that will use the best of the leaf print experiments. I would also like to make a wearable from the over-dyed kimono silks that I am accumulating. I have been looking online for a simple, somewhat boxy, blouse pattern to use, and I am finding it very difficult find the perfect pattern! Who knew that this would be difficult?!

Does anyone have any pattern suggestions for a simple blouse that would work for a "collaged" fabric look?

Does anyone have any eco-dyeing/ eco bundling tips to offer? 

Crocosmia stalk and blossoms



3 comments:

  1. I am so impressed! I tried and only got beige fabric with hints of leaves. Maybe next year? :D Virgina Avery and Yvonne Porcella both have excellent books on clothing from cloth. You can usually find them in used book stores. One of my favorite patterns from both books is for a bog coat. I found instructions that are similar here: http://www.thequiltercommunity.com/Wc8f1c1a1f8b9e.htm I strongle suggest making a muslin first, but then you could eco dye it too! LOL! Have fun!

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  2. Sorry for the typos! Gez, I wish I would learn to proof read!

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  3. How very cool!! I should like to try this someday!
    Marie, I am glad to hear that you are able to drive again- be kind to yourself and don't over do it!!

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