Monday, October 3, 2016


On our recent 3 day retreat, we again attempted eco-dyeing/printing with plant material, steeped in various types of wood chips.  They were gifted to me by talented blogger friend Robbie....see her work here.
Another good fiber friend in Arizona passed along a couple of yummy yards of fabric.....several being silk.
After our first failure with this method, I spent hours and hours again studying different approaches to natural dyeing.  We decided this time to use an Alum mordant for the fabric AND the leaves.

We placed the wood chips with such appealing names, Brazilian Rosewood, Osage Orange etc. in large plastic containers.
Next, we added our prepared fabric that had been rolled onto wood dowels.  Finally, we added boiling water and covered the containers with black plastic and let steep in the hot South Carolina heat for 24 hrs.
Well, dang......we opened one of the rolls and this is what mine looked like after all that effort!!
We don't give up we moved the contents of the container into a shallow metal pan and simmered it for about 4 hours.
By now I had my hopes up.....but most of mine still had barely any I took all of mine apart and acid dyed them.  So there!!!  I will share that experience in another post. Here are several of Kate's and Judy's organzia fabrics where pale color from the wood chips is visible.  If there is any impression of a leaf, it's merely a resist....the spots you see on the lower piece were created by blueberries that Kate added in her fabric roll.

More to come as I go through my photos....I was a picture taking fool on this trip!


Robbie said...

There is such a fine line in mordants/fabrics in natural dyeing. I know lots of folks who do the steaming...I boiled my chips to make a 'dye solution'...then soaked my fabric in alum. I just put in a container. The ones I rolled with leaves/etc. didn't turn out well either! But you had fun and that's what it's all about!

margaret said...

such a sham your dyeing did not work but good to read you continued and dyed another way

Janis Doucette said...

How frustrating! It does take some practice Mary but you need to learn some specific methods.Of course you can read my blog posts on the subject but in addition, I'll give you some links to start:

Good luck and email me if I can help.