Rust Dyeing

A lot of you have expressed interest in my rust dyeing.

For me, Kimberly Baxter Packwood is the real rust guru and she has just published some guidelines on rust dyeing on her blog, as well as pictures of her rust dyed silk carrier rods and the work she has been doing with them. Check it out!

Another blog I like reading on rust dyeing is Lois’s at Rust-Tex. Her work is awesome too!

Painting on tissue

Here is a collage of some of the tissue paper I have been painting.   (I did this in Picasa, not in cutting and pasting real paper!    Not yet, anyway.)

collage of painted tissue

This is a photo of some corrogated card which I painted.  It looks like a Picasa collage on its own!

painted corrugated card

And, a bit late, here is the best rusted piece from the baking tray which was up in the loft catching the drips.  It is ironic, really, because it is a practice piece on which I was trying to transfer a picture printed on Lasertran (not very successfully).. but I think it looks like one of those old medieval maps.  Pity I could never repeat it if I tried! 

rusted fabric which looks like a map

A little fun with Indigo

On Monday I decided to do some dyeing with an indigo dyeing kit which I had bought several months ago.   Actually, I started thinking about it the previous Saturday and spent the best part of the morning tying little marbly things (they are actually playing counters for a game) into a piece of white cotton fabric.  The result was oddly satisfying, and I could see why people manipulated fabric or made the 3D sort of shibori – such as Michelle Griffiths who has her studio just west of where I live, in Llantrisant.

Here is the piece of fabric when I had finished tying it.  It was about a yard in length before I started.

white cotton fabric with counters tied into it all over

I was so pleased with that one that I decided to use up the rest of the counters in a sort of flowing line on a long white silk scarf:

silk scarf tied in same way

So on Monday I was all prepared.  I made up the indigo vat and decided to dip each piece several times for strength of colour.

Here is the first piece hanging on the line after dipping:

indigo dyed fabric

And some other pieces which I did:

more indigo dyed fabric

The yarn is some white recycled sari silk.  That took the dye the best out of all of them.

Here is some fabric in the dyepot on the grass.  The good thing about this was that once I had prepared the vat I could do all the actual dipping in the garden and keep all the mess out there!

indigo vat on grass

The second (or it may even be third by this time) dipping of my tied fabric.  The yarn is the pencil roving which I used for my felted bag.  It was put in when the indigo was nearly exhausted so is much paler.

indigo dyed fabric and yarn

I also put in a bit of my rusted fabric.  It is a lovely pale blue colour which complements the rust very well.  It was interesting to see that the rust seemed to act as a resist – or maybe it was just that the dye was so pale it didn’t affect it in any way.

rusted fabric with indigo dye

I started untying the counters before I rinsed the fabric… here it is half untied – I quite like the effect!

tie dyed fabric half untied

Here it is fully untied but as yet unrinsed and wet:

untied fabric

I did untie some of the counters before dipping the second and third times – as you can see, there is a variation in shade of the circles.

And here it is, washed, dried and ironed and pinned up on my design wall.  As you can see, it is considerably paler.

tie dyed fabric dry and ironed

And here is the silk scarf:

silk scarf with tie dyed circles

And a detail of the bottom part:

detail of previous fabric

I’m not sure what I shall use these for yet – I will probably do more printing or dyeing over the top but I think I would like to leave the large piece whole.  Maybe even some rust dyeing?  I have some more pieces of fabric in the process of being rusted – now the roof has finally been fixed (we hope!) I am using up the rust from the baking tin which was collecting water underneath the window in the loft.  When that’s done I will slather it in oil to stop it rusting any more (I hope!).

Here they are in the process of rusting:

rusting fabric

Knitting and onion skins

Here is the onion skin-dyed yarn drying on the line.  Yummy colour, isn’t it?

yellowy gold yarn dyed with onion skins

Here it is dried and ready to use:

onion skin dyed yarn

The colour is actually closer to the top picture.

And here is some more yarn being brought to a simmer – this has a mishmash of St Johns wort, the remains of the onion skin dyebath and a couple of nettle teabags which I chucked in for good measure!  Talk about unscientific… The yarn has been mordanted with copper.

the next dyebath

It actually turned out a mid brown colour and is drying upstairs as I type.  Photo later.

Here is the half knitted to-be-felted bag.  I have still got about 30 rows to do and the yarn is disappearing at an alarming rate!

knitted bag in greens and pinks

You will notice I have tweaked the blog colour a bit and made a few changes and additions to the sidebar.  If you find it isn’t behaving itself for you, do let me know.