Archive | natural dyes

More dyed fabric … and a jacket!

I have been slowly washing out more of the fabric.  In between buying some gorgeous teal coloured boiled wool/viscose fabric and making it into a jacket!  More later on that…

I printed this piece of silk with corrugated cardboard (the yellowy bits) and then overprinted with a gocco screen made with the same stamp that I used for the maroon coloured fabric in the last post.  I think this one changed the least when I washed it out. 

screenprinted fabric before washing

Here is the washed version:

screenprinted fabric after washing

And a detail:

detail of above

For the next piece, I used these ochres from Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean, and soy milk as a binder, made from soy beans. 

ochres from Clearwell Caves

This is what it looked like when I painted it.

ochre painted fabric before washing

And here it is washed … I like the way you get more definition in the washed version.

ochre printed fabric after washing

Here it is on my design wall, next to a piece which had been previously rusted dyed and which I overpainted with the ochres, giving some subtle textures.

fabric on design wall 

This one looked the most unpromising when I printed it.  I’ve got a feeling I used it as a wiping-up cloth and then screened over the top with the gocco screen made from the image of a letter.

more fabric

It definitely looks more promising now!

all washed out

Last week I had a break from washing out fabric and did some dressmaking for a change! I went shopping in Cardiff the previous weekend and bought this gorgeous teal coloured boiled wool fabric from the newly opened John Lewis.  This jacket only took a morning to make! I did make a practise version with some green cotton/viscose fabric I had lying around and actually this one was easier to make because the curved seams were a doddle with this stretchy fabric.  Also, I didn’t have to hem anything as it is boiled wool and doesn’t fray!  It’s super warm and cozy and I’ve already worn it a lot.  Which is more than can be said for a lot of my previous dressmaking attempts!   I bought the pattern a few years ago meaning to use it with some of my dyed fabrics and I have even more incentive to use it now I’ve made it twice.  It’s the swing fever jacket from CNT Pattern Co (no affiliation).

wool swing fever jacket boiled wool swing fever jacket

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Natural dyeing – the results!

Here we are … some of the fabrics I printed last year and just washed out.  I’m rinsing out about three pieces a day so even this is taking time!

I printed this one with a gocco screen.  It started out as an eraser which I carved to make a stamp, printed to make a repeating pattern then I scanned it into the computer and enlarged it and printed it out.   I then overprinted it with a screen made from a letter.  This is the washed out version – it doesn’t actually look much lighter than the original (some of them lost quite a lot of colour).  I think this is logwood.  Most of these are printed on silk.

house fabric ,

house fabric flat

This one is a screen made from a photo of a tree.  I printed and overprinted it in three colours of natural dyes.  This one did wash out quite a lot but I kind of like the subtle effect.  This is the unwashed version:


And this is the washed out one.  Quite a difference, as you can see.  But I quite like it in parts.

tree fabric

This one changed the most.  It consists of two screens.  One is a gocco screen made from a stamp I carved of a bird’s foot.  I printed this one first.  Then the second screen is a blank screen with roughly torn masking tape stuck across it – it is supposed to look a bit like cracked mud. 

mud and bird print before rinsing

This is the washed out version – I like it more because you can see the bird prints more clearly.  The mud cracks are in two or three different shades of brown – this is just a detail of the whole piece.

mud and bird print fabric

I don’t think I have a ‘before’ photo of this tree, but it is clay painted using ochres from Clearwell Caves, some caves in the Forest of Dean which are also ancience iron mines.  I used soy milk as a binder.  The ochres seemed to wash out a lot less than the natural dye extracts I used.  It is painted on cotton organdie which is semi transparent so is a bit difficult to photograph.


That’s all I’ve photographed at the moment – more to follow!

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