Sunday, August 31, 2014

Moo Mania and More: Recycle something (Shibori Dyeing Experiment)

Once again I'm joining Moo Mania and More, where this fortnight's theme is Recycle.  For my second entry I got it in my head to try a new shibori experiment.  Shibori dyeing is a way to fold, shape, and secure the fabric prior to dyeing it.  In the past, I've used plastic poles and PVC pipes to wrap the fabric that I dyed using various inks, sprays, and dyes.  Incidentally, tie-dyeing is considered a form of shibori dyeing.

For this experiment, I replaced my plastic poles with my large rusty container I found a couple of years ago in my neighbor's dumpster, and replaced my dyes with vinegar.  Additional supplies include a long strip of recycled bed sheet, a plastic bag, and disposable gloves I wear anytime I'm working with rust.

TIP: Always wear gloves (preferably disposable) when working with anything rusty.  Never touch the rusted piece with bare hands because the rust will enter your skin and mess with the hemoglobin in your blood.  Leave the gloves on through the entire process.

Like my regular shibori projects, I wrapped the fabric around the rusty part,

saturated the fabric with vinegar, then placed the entire assembly inside a plastic bag

that I tied tight,

and stored it upside down in the sun.

Four days later I opened the bag and removed my rusted shibori dyed fabric.  Those are rusty leaves that were inside the metal disk that I didn't notice till I removed the fabric. 

Be sure you continue wearing disposable gloves

while you unwind the fabric.  Isn't it lovely?  Much more subtle than I had hoped, but better than I expected.  I'm so glad I tried this, because it gives me another tool in my rusting arsenal. 

Take the fabric (this is a thin cotton/poly blend) to your favorite sink, add warm water and baking soda (I use about 1/2 cup to a half filled sink, but this isn't rocket science, so more or less of either shouldn't hurt), swish the fabric around in the water/soda mix, then allow the fabric to soak in the mixture for a few minutes, at which time you can remove your disposable gloves.  The rusted fabric is now safe to touch.  Rinse completely, then hang to dry, or dry in your dryer.

This project was completed over four days.  This is not a quick project, since rust dyeing depends on the heat and humidity levels of your area.  It's not a project you can start and complete in a day.  I hope you enjoyed this experiment.  I hope to have a few more before summer runs its course.

It's now time to make something using this recycled fabric.  Of course, we have to go back a few days and see

the front of the completed quiltlet I started for my first Moo-Mania and More project.  Recall the front of this quiltlet was made using onion skin dyed bed sheets and parts of a man's tie.  The only thing not recycled in this project is the thread.  Even the batting is recycled.  Although I had planned to add some buttons, which would also have been recycled, the ones I had planned to use were an acceptable shape, but they were too bright for the rather vintage-y retro feel of this piece.

But I realize you now want to see how I used some of the rusty fabric,

so here it is, the back of the quiltlet.  I simply couldn't cover up all that rusty goodness.  Now I'm off to iron my new quiltlet before I find a place to hang it.

I hope you like my latest Moo Mania and More entry.  And I hope you find something to rust, because yours can turn out as lovely as my shibori rusted fabric did.


12 thoughtful remarks:

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Boah! What a project!?
I love your rusty pot and how clever this process is... yeah!
I bought some ingredients for instant rusting after my first attempts with natural rusting failed.
What a lovely quilt this is ...
Happy SUNDAY Elizabeth and thank you so much for this amazing recycling process sharing with us at

Rosie Schirrmeister said...

Wow, this is just amazing. A wonderful project.

Thank you for joining us at MOO-MANIA & MORE

Divers and Sundry said...

Fascinating! And I love the color and pattern you got from that method with the rust.

Dianne said...

Awesome results, dear E! love your sweet little quiltlet and the transformation with rust...and you are the only blogger I've come across who cautions about touching rust with bare hands. So glad you are a knowledgeable scientist as well as artist!

Jo Murray said...

This is wonderful....I'm inspired to try it out.

~*~Patty S said...

Ooo you're making me itchy to rust some fabric again got great results and you are so good about creating something right away too!

TwinkleToes2day said...

You never fail to amaze and inspire, I love the rusted fabric and the quiltlet of course. I do hope you let us see it ironed and in situ when you find the perfect spot for it :D

Rita said...

Wow! Never tried dying or rusting fabric. This turned out great! :)

see you there! said...

I really have to find something rusty! I like your fabric a lot.


Halle said...

I love rust dye!! Esp how you just never know how it's going to turn out.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh how I love this! What a fabulous colour! Chrisx

sirkkis said...

Absolutely amazing work. Love your talentted creations of recycling.