Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dyeing Disappointments

One of the cards that I drew for the External Forces was Natural Dyeing. I looked forward to doing some experimenting, since I really like to dye. I went online and did a lot of research and most of what I read said that you should chop your produce, cover it with water and simmer for an hour. I had a choice of using vinegar or alum as a mordant and I tried both. Each mordant was mixed with water and then the fabric was added and simmered for an hour. With the alum I left it in the water overnight. then I added the mordant treated white fabric to the strained juice and simmered for another hour.

I will never do this again. I felt so guilty wasting all that produce, especially since most of them gave me very pale results. The only ones that were worthwhile were turmeric (the first two) and blackberry (the last).

If you look carefully at the bottom right of each fabric, you can see what I used and what mordant. Or click to see a bigger picture.

I was very pleased with this vibrant color. I had enough left in the pot to add a little extra water and do a second one shown below. It is slightly lighter, but still pretty.

Considering how beets will stain my cutting board and hands, this pale color was a disappointment.  The one done with alum (see below) was only slightly darker. They are both paler and less pink in person. I think I would have been happy if they really were this color.

I could have achieved this with any old tea.

Really!? I used a pound of grated carrots for this. Some bunny somewhere must be quite perturbed.

Again, I used a big box of spinach for a barely noticeable color. Popeye is crying. Fortunately I put some aside to sauté for dinner

I used a box of blackberries for this (sob), but bought an extra to eat. They are delicious and I was pleased with this color.

All of my future dyeing will be done with fiber reactive dyes. Correction, I am still going to try avocados skins and peels since my fiber group is saving them for me this week. I have some mordant treated fabric left.

I'm linking up with Off The Wall Friday this week. Go see what some talented artists are up to.


Regina B Dunn said...

I enjoyed some of your humorous comments. The tumeric color is lovely. I, also, am sticking with the procion MX dyes, though. At least for now.

Linda M said...

You captured my feelings exactly! I did have one that I was very pleased with, onion skins. Of course it took me forever to save up enough skins, both yellow and red onions but I got a lovely deep gold.