ECODYE adventures

I know this is probably a little old hat, but it’s fairly new for me! Last year, about a year ago, I did a workshop on Eco dyeing paper, using plant dye baths and a variety of domestic and native foliage, and the results were rather thrilling. But the process seemed quite involved, and one needs to be very well organised before one can even begin! Besides I don’t have much in my garden and the bush is miles away from where I live….. And so it all seemed a great deal of effort for a few small bits of paper – admittedly, very attractive paper, and fun to make, no mistakes about that part of it! See my efforts here, where you can read about it.

Today though, our group (Reddy Arts Textile Group) got together and attended another of these workshops, but I sneaked along some fabric to try out, and see how it would turn out!  Everyone agreed it was a great workshop, and we all learned from it.

First I concertina’d my strip of silk, and inserted a layer of silk between each piece of paper and the plant matter…. here is the result! The dye bath was Mexican tarragon with an alum and cream of tartar mordant….

Ecodyed silk 160202
Eco dye Silk, with brown onion skins and a variety of foliage.

Next, I followed the same process with a piece of cotton, and this time we were using onion skins and veges – beetroot, orange and purple carrot rings, celery, potato… the dye bath was red cabbage, the mordant aluminium potassium sulphate and copper sulphate… and here is the result of that. Softer colours overall on the cotton, and a mix of red and brown onion skins alternated on layers.

Eco dye on cotton160202
Top to bottom: Row 1: Eco dye with dry Eucalypt leaves, Row2: yellow carrot ring,  purple carrot ring, celery slice, beetroot wedge, Row 3: green elderberries and a mishmash! Row 4: beetroot wedge, purple carrot ring, potato (heart), yellow carrot semi circles.

Brenda Wood left out the paper with her experiments with the silk and cotton, and this resulted in deeper colours.  Keep an eye out for an article on Brenda’s blog Addicted to Fabric .

I think this is worth further exploration; I’m sure the rest of the group agree! It was such a fun day! Thanks, Judy Kennedy!!