Monday, June 29, 2015


FIRST - thank you, thank you to those generous readers of this blog who've taken the time to share a comment or connect with me personally, offering insights about eco-print dyeing.  Clearly, there are a host of methods to achieve results and there are a host of variables within those methods that can alter the outcome.  AND...finally, one's willingness to accept surprises will also impact the success of such experiments.
 I'd brought a few cotton hankies, dollies, and piece of machine made lace.  After realizing our initial approach wasn't providing good results, we began to simply experiment. I loosely scrunched the items on plastic lids.......  
 ....then poured some iron solution over each and let them sit in the hot sun for hours.  (After they were dry, the larger piece was unfolded and displayed on marsh grass for the purpose of this photo.)
By now we were grabbing everything within reach to see 'what if'.  This piece of silk noil contains salt, turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes, and blueberries.  It was rolled as usual onto a dowel, tied and processed for at least 2 hours in our iron solution.
 We didn't give up completely using turns out that ferns printed nicely....and the addition of the spices we used added a lot more color.
 We did give up using rice steamers, realizing that they simply didn't provide enough heat to achieve anything but very pale color.  But, before we did, we added ground red pepper to the water....hoping that would help.  It didn't.

Instead, a simple hot plate with an inexpensive aluminum pan worked very well.
Kate got super interested in working with she's smashed blueberries and cherries, along with some turmeric.  It too was rolled on a dowel, tied and processed in the iron solution.
Judy gave me a piece of China silk. Kate had also been playing with tea....interested to see what the tannin would do.  It wasn't as successful as she'd hoped.  However, that left a bunch of wet tea bags on our supply table so after sprinkling turmeric and red pepper on the fabric....along with a spritz of vinegar, I arranged 6 tea bags and folded the whole thing into a package.  It too was processed in the iron solution.

Here's the finished piece.....which I quite like!

So....this concludes the "Eco-Print Storigram".  We have so much fun together, honestly if we'd have ended up with cow pies we would have been happy!  Why not grab some of your like-minded pals and plan a day or two to do your own experiments?


Robbie said...

It is always fun to experiment and learn what works...what doesn't work...what might work! Some results look pretty good, actually! Makes me envious!

Judy Warner said...

Look forward to see what pieces show up in your art works!

Linda M said...

Love reading about all the eco-print experiments. I keep thinking about doing some with leaves, but I guess I need some friends to push me :).