Sunday, 30 March 2014

Eco dyeing on an Autumn day

A beautiful sunny Autumn day, perfect, as the ladies from my embroidery class discovered, to get together and have a 'play day'.  The goal was to produce some fabrics that we could use as interesting backgrounds for embroidery. It was such fun to work together and then anticipation of  unwrapping the bundles the next day. Stimulated by our embroidery class, the ladies were in reflection mode -What worked? what didn't and why? what I will do next time?

All we needed was some fabric - natural fibres, preferably wool or silk or maybe some linen or cotton soaked in diluted soy milk. Plant matter - eucalypt leaves  were a good start but we were prepared to try anything, maybe some scrap metal, a large pot dedicated to the dyeing process and a heat source. A hot plate outside and some old aluminium pots proved ideal for the job.

laying or spreading out the plant matter onto the fabric

rolled, folded, bundled, tied and into the pot.

simmering away

out of the pot and left overnight

ready to open

the finished cloth, 

the grey colour from the iron that leached into the water, 
the black lines and circles from small pieces of metal such as nails, bolts and bottle tops

the rust from onion skins, eucalyptus cinerea and eucalyptus moon lagoon

some previous efforts, one with stitch

some close ups - clear leaf prints and string marks

onion skins and nails - bold and dramatic

oak leaves and screws - softer and more subtle

1 comment: