Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dye pot experiments continued

This was my favourite Easter egg: It has an almost photographic image of a Gotu Kola leaf (Centella asiatica).

After the Easter eggs were done I have boiled up the onion skin mixture again and when it was boiling I strained it. I reduced the heat to low. Next I threw in whatever fabric remnants I had, some were cotton, some synthetic, along with a cotton doily, a piece of ribbon, some tulle, and a length of white merino wool roving I use for felting.

 I hastily folded an old length of cotton cut off into a triangle shape and clamped the edges with a few pegs and tied a string around one corner - my first experiment in Shibori, the Japanese term for dyeing fabrics by twisting, folding, clamping or stitching to create resists when dyeing.

The different pieces were thrown in willynilly and stayed in the pot for a random amount of time, after all this was just my quick first experiment with natural dyeing. I am amazed at the variety of different shades of colour that can be achieved with the one dye bath.
I am really happy with the colour of the wool roving (left) and also with the tulle which was in the longest and therefore has deepest colour. The shibori experiment is on the right. It was in the dye pot for the shortest amount of time the the pattern is therefore quite light.

Here is my basket with the dye pot harvest by daylight.

After the fabrics were out of the pot I increased the heat again and fiercely boiled the remaining liquid down to concentrate it. I strained it again through a piece of muslin and tried to make my own ink.

I have made up three little spray bottles with the ink. The first I left undiluted, the second I added some Gin as a preservative and the last I added white vinegar as a preservative.
The result is three subtly different tones. Whether they will last only time will tell.

The leftover liquid I have boiled yet again and reduced it even further to see whether I can concentrate the colour further.


  1. ooooh...welcome to blogland, monika! i am so pleased for you. blogging has been so fun and pure enjoyment for me personally. you will love it as you further your adventures, i just know it!
    i have dyed many things in my lifetime, including my sheep wool...it is always so exciting to find the mysteries...YOUR work is wonderful and enticing. xo

  2. I loved reading about this experiment Mon, and the results are wonderful. Your dyed fabrics are gorgeous but I adore your inks :-)

    Where do you get your little spray bottles?

  3. Thanks Louise!:-) I got the little spray bottles from a chemist. Tim Holtz has even tinier spray bottles, I saw them here in a scrapbooking/ stamping shop.

  4. GGGGGrrrreeaaattttt job... I love the soft color tones...