a journal: textiles, inspiration, musings

Archive for the ‘eco-dyeing’ Category

gumtree blanket

This long-term project is moving forward: the top is being assembled now; I will add some more stitching and then back it to make a snuggly blanket. I haven’t felt in any sort of hurry to finish it, as it is a lovely pick-up-and-stitch project; I enjoy looking at the wonderful prints that have emerged at different times from my eucalyptus bundles; some pieces have been individually dyed, some are leftovers from garments.  I have bought some lovely fine soft wool fabric from Beautiful Silks and will dye this before using it as the back, so there will be plenty more stitching to do, as i will join the front and back pieces with some form of kantha-type stitching.

Bloom on the vat

A very promising sight this morning, lovely blue bloom on the fructose vat

IMG_1414And the ph was good at 11.4; so I had high hopes for a good strong colour; but in fact it was a fairly pale result, proving that my vat often has a mind of its own! Nevertheless some multiple dips and some over-dyeing produced some interesting results

IMG_1420IMG_1416

And even a couple more misty moons!

IMG_1417

 

 

My first indigo moon

IMG_1411

I have managed to revive my dormant fructose vat with a combination of methods…. heat, more fructose, more hydrated lime and finally a new starter added in! I  find I want to overdye some of the pieces after they dry . Nice pile of garments growing, also small bits of fabric for a slow cloth that i am starting to plan. But most exciting was my first successful moon….

I love the moon circles that Jude Hill uses in her lovely Spirit  Cloths, and I have been learning some indigo and Shibori techniques from the  Shibori Girl website. I think this  will be the forerunner of quite a few moons!

IMG_1401

 

 

Indigo at last

A very fun blue-letter day: my first attempt at an indigo vat. Used the natural 3-2-1 pickling lime and fruit one, used fructose today but will try with bananas next. I muddled along a bit with the proportions and getting the lime to dissolve into the brew, so as I always seem to do, I was learning on the job! but it seemed to follow the general process which all the instructions point to, and I managed to sample -dye a number of pieces of fabric! very exciting, will keep practising with this over the next week or two; a change from my favourite eucalyptus – based dye pots . Will be pleased to see how the fabrics look tomorrow after washing: can’t quite believe it has been so successful and so quick! The vat was very strong, I actually weakened off some of the brew for the lighter pieces but I suspect they will be lighter in any case after washing………..watch this space !!!

 

Trio

Basics of new wardrobe, hand-stitched, naturally printed and dyed……….very satisfying!

trio of hand-stitched and naturally dyed:printed dresses

latest bundle unwrapped

glorious colours, a new dress, very happy with this one!

autumn holiday in daylesford

So inspired by wonderful March workshop with India Flint; sometimes [rarely] a class can be life-changing: having already been starting to learn to construct simple wearable pieces  with cloths woven on the Saori loom, India’s  Second Skin class taught me that I can make simple garments stitched by hand with lovely natural or recycled fabrics, then dye them  in the ways I have been learning to do, with plants and natural mordants; a meditative and gentle process that feels totally right to do, and causes no harm. So I find myself enjoying wearing the garments that I am making; I love the comfort of them, and the ethos of them, they make me feel connected to the earth.  Community  awareness of the destruction the textiles industry is inflicting on the environment, and the exploitation of its workers, is growing; as with food, it is impossible to un-know the realities of mass production and of the inherent problems with the toxins in synthetic materials once we understand them; and the power we have is to individually change our own approach first.

Have spent a week here in our holiday cottage stitching  some simple dresses, skirts  and tunics with Marion’s lovely silky merino [Beautiful Silks at Allansford]; and now the cauldron is simmering with local eucalyptus leaves and bits of metal [the Daylesford market is a treasure house for old metal discards!] and garments being bundled with autumn leaves, eucalyptus leaves and sundry other mark-making bits and pieces…………..as the garments come out of the pot it is always a surprise; the beauty of this method is that if the surprise is not entirely positive, there are always ways to cut/patch/cover/re-dye!!

In between the stitching and the dyepots, lots of long walks in the glorious autumn landscape; a beautiful environment to work in and be inspired by: