Monday, July 26, 2010

natural dye-sasters

All these fabrics came out of the jars that had been left in a sunny window for three July weeks. The three on left are the results of raspberries and red wine. (the orange piece used to be yellow cotton velveteen) The two small green ones were coloured with onion skins and the final four are from the day lily jars. They had more colour before rinsing. The three pieces on the left are the result of an experiment of heating the the solar liquid. Negligible result. The two pieces on the right were steeped 24 hours in a dye produced from frozen day lilies and alum. The fabrics in this photo are either silk velvet or wool and were pre-mordanted with alum and cream of tartar. They were originally white. The four jars left in the sunny window for three weeks developed mould. Day lilies steeped with un-mordanted cotton did not have much results. Raspberries and wine - well yes.The frozen rose petals were so gorgeous and gave a heavenly scent but no colour in warm water. The frozen day lilies were the most successful of these experiments, and gave out their pink colour immediately. In fact, when I added a little alum and cream of tartar powders, the water turned a deep purple and had good results.

I suppose.

7 comments:

Gina said...

You have achieved some beautiful soft colours.

iNdi@ said...

looked pretty good to me...

Deb said...

I was really hoping these were going to work out for you. The whole natural dyeing thing has a noble feel to it but if it's real color you crave I'm afraid it's back to Procion or something like it.

fabriquefantastique said...

very interesting....I'd love to do some natural dyeing, your blog is giving me some good ideas.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Judy, how did you achieve your green? I've used brown onion skins on their own to give a soft golden brown, and by wrapping a skirt in aluminium foil, I got a strong mustardy yellow, but I haven't got a green!

Judy Martin said...

Don't get me wrong. I am pleased to cook up these potions and am happy to be paying so much attention to my natural suroundings. I've had best success with silk rayon velvet that I get from Dharma - it takes the dye the best, and I have a collection now of soft natural colours.
However, sometimes the colours appear faded. Last week I painted silk and got the strong colours that I crave.
I don't really know how I got green - I was expecting tan or yellow. I used two kinds of onion skins - (red and spanish) Maybe because the solution acquired a layer of green mould?

iNdi@ said...

green from onion skins generally indicates the presence of iron
perhaps in the water?