Tag Archives | dyes

Rust dyed fabrics

Here are several photos of the rust dyed fabric I did in the roasting tin which I had left on the floor in my studio to catch the drips from the leaking ceiling.

This is the main piece – a large piece of silk dupion which I tried unsuccessfully to rust round a washing line pole last year (probably because it promptly went cold and froze!).

rust dyed fabric

This is the top of it.

rest of rust dyed fabric

And the bottom of it.

detail of rust dyed fabric

This is a small detail of the above piece.  This impression was made by one of the sweetcorn tins which DS1 had thrown out of his bedroom window!  A very effective print.

rust dyed silk

And another detail. 

rust dyed silk shirt  

This is an old silk shirt.

detail of silk shirt rust dyed

A detail of the sleeve portion. 

rust dyed fabric

I don’t know what sort of fabric this is – it is a sort of knitted fabric – maybe rayon?  Or silk even…  That piece in the middle which is a slightly different shade is actually part of the rusting – not a different bit sewn on as it looks.

dark rust dyed fabric 

This piece, which is silk crepe de chine, went very grey-brown with rust-brown highlights.  It is so fine you can see the outline of the chair through it where the sun is shining!

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Yummy Yarn!

At last – we have photos!

This was dyed with blackberry leaves and a copper mordant.

yarn dyed with blackberry leaves

This one was mordanted with alum and was dyed in the exhaust of the blackberry leaf dyebath.

yarn dyed with blackberry leaves and mordanted with alum

This was dyed with an unknown hanging plant which I pulled up from the garden last summer and has been soaking all winter outside in water.

cream coloured yarn

It didn’t get much colour, but it is a nice creamy shade.  There is definite colour when I put it next to the original.  It also was mordanted with alum. 

This next one had a bit of a chequered life because I mordanted it with alum and then dyed it in a forsythia dyebath which was almost completely useless.  I also added a pinch of iron for the last 15 minutes, but that didn’t improve it.  So I chucked some madder roots which I had been soaking into a sort of large herb sphere that I have (actually I think it is for steaming vegetables but it looks more like those things you can buy for infusing herb tea except bigger.   Except that some of the bits of madder root were too small and came out of the holes on to the yarn and the next day I got the whole lot out, put the madder into a muslin bag, rinsed the yarn, which now had patches of red on it but not entirely, and put it back into the madder bath.  You’re not supposed to heat the madder to more than about 50C so I just heated it up and then left it overnight.  I added another skein of yarn to get the exhaust. 

red yarn

And here is the skein that was added later:

pink yarn 

Here they all are together:

colourful yarn  

I’ve still got some yarn mordanted with copper and some more which is unmordanted yet so watch this space!  I’ve sent off for an indigo kit so I’m going to try that next…

This is the Kool Aid dyed yarn:

bluey greeny yarn

I put it in a microwave dish and poured the colours on as if I was space dyeing then heated it. 

For this next one I did the same but they seem to have more or less all gone into one or two shades…

pink yarn

And I overdyed some felt which I made about a year ago:

hand made felt

It was mostly to tone down the brilliant white colour of the back:

reverse of above

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Lots of dyeing!

Well, the skeins dyed so far look gorgeous – totally different to the colours you get with chemical dyes. The blackberry leaves came out a mid brown colour with the wool mordanted with copper and a gorgeous golden yellow in the exhaust bath with a skein mordanted with alum and cream of tartar. The skein dyed with some unidentified plant which has been soaking over winter in a black bin outside came out a sort of browny cream colour. Okay but not very exciting. This morning I cooked up some forsythia leaves which Jill Goodwin says ought to come out a nice green colour (A Dyer’s Manual). Though she reckoned the brown skein above ought to have been blue green and the alum skein pink so I don’t know what to believe! I will dye some wool with it tomorrow anyway.

I also had a busy afternoon dyeing with some Kool Aid which someone sent me in a swap ages ago. I did it in the microwave following these instructions. They were pretty effective too, but I don’t much like the sickly smell, which refused to go away despite about 5 rinsings… After seeing the natural dyed yarn I really don’t like the look of these chemical dyes very much – goodness knows what it does to kids’ stomachs!

So the washing line is pretty full at the moment!

If my camera doesn’t arrive soon I’ll dig out my old one, which now belongs to DS2, and take some photos with it…

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Dyeing and other activities

Well, I’ve been quiet but not inactive.  Still no camera but I’ve dug a few out of Picasa which I haven’t put on my blog yet….

The weather is absolutely glorious.    The garden is lovely.  We have two red tulips which I thought I’d killed off by planting my herb garden where they were, but they seem to have come up this year, the first time for three years.    Here’s a photo of them in previous years:


close up of tulip

I bought a couple of blueberry plants in the last two farmers’ markets in town (one at a time, all I could carry up the hill to my house!).  Here is one of them waiting on the patio to be planted out.    Our soil is very acid and apparently they like acid soils so they should do well.

Blueberry plant waiting to be planted out

Because the weather has been warm, I have been doing some natural dyeing (or at least preparing for it) over the last couple of days, so I could boil stuff up while leaving the kitchen door open.

I bought this gorgeous pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms via a yarn coop I am in.  I want to dye it and then knit it into a bag and felt it. 

pencil roving in skeins

Here it is wound into skeins ready for dyeing.  Yesterday I washed it and mordanted some in alum and some in copper and picked a lot (A LOT!!) of blackberry brambles which were running wild in our front garden.  I was attacked in the forehead by a rampaging yukka plant and have lots of scratches to show for the battles with the brambles but now they have been safely boiled up and I am just waiting for the water to cool sufficiently to put one of the skeins in.  I’ve got some madder to dye some more skeins … photos when Nikon duly releases my camera!  Hopefully…. 

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