Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Moo Mania and More: Recycle Something (onion skin dyeing experiment)

This fortnight the theme at Moo Mania and More is Recycle.  Many of you know the word "recycle" could be my middle name.  So for this first entry (and I plan to have lots of entries this time) I've been playing with strips of old fabric (bed sheets to be specific), dyeing them to use in future projects.  Since the heat has been on (literally) this past week, it was time to use it to my advantage.  Although I had no prior knowledge of the theme of this challenge, I felt it was a good example of what you can do to color your own fabric for art projects.

I began with two bowls of onion skins I had heated and "cooked" in my basement studio microwave.  Be aware these bowls are NOT to be used in my kitchen, even though I used a food product.  It just makes sense to keep art equipment separate from food equipment.

After I made the "dye" (I cooked the skins from approximately 16 onions for four minutes in microwave, then strained the skins out and removed them to my compost pile), I added my bed sheets to the "dye." 

The strips of sheets that were a polyester/cotton blend, took the dye much better and faster.

I had some onion skin dye left over, so I added some book pages

and allowed them to soak for awhile.

Once dry, I liked the 100% cotton sheets better (in the back part of photo), because they were mottled, and I much prefer a mottled look to the rather bland beige of the cotton/poly blend.

But this was Moo-Mania and More, so I had to at least show the possibilities that were possible using the theme "recycle something."

I tore a piece of the onion dyed fabric and sewed two pieces of a deconstructed man's tie, along with some lace I dyed in some of this morning's coffee.  I liked the back of the tie as well as the front, so cut a piece of it for the top.

This piece is not finished.  I have buttons I want to add, a bit of "quilting" (I use that term loosely) and the backing, which will include some of the tie, also.

I hope you like the start of my recycle project.  Remember, anything is acceptable at Moo Mania and More as long as it follows the theme.

11 thoughtful remarks:

elle said...

Cold here, too. I could even try snow dyeing!!! I always forget about dyeing paper. Good stuff!

Rosie Schirrmeister said...

This is fabulous.

Thank you for joining us at MOO-MANIA & MORE

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I wished I could visit you and we would make some experiments more together with onion skins. Your project looks already fantastic.
I bought a little book in german language yesterday ( I am on a relatives visit for a few days in vienna at the moment)with many recipes for making paper .. one is a paper with onion skins ...I am so exciting to try some things out when I am back at home.
Love that your middle name is recycling °°°°Elizabeth°°°°!
Thank you for sharing
Moo Mania & More Challenge: I am so happy to see you there!

TwinkleToes2day said...

One can never predict what you are going to come up with for a post, so it is always a pleasure and never a bore to visit. Another fascinating use of 'throw away' products and I think the piece looks like a prayer flag at the moment. The tie patterns are very cool together. Looking forward to the next part ;)

~*~Patty S said...

Well you make me "almost" want a microwave ... I still do things the old fashioned way...bubble bubble toil and ... hah!
Your onion dyed fabrics turned out great AND the front AND back of that tie = just brilliant.
Stay cool ER LOL ...saw on the news that you are in the midst of a HOT HOT HOT heatwave again.

Karla B said...

Elizabeth, you are my favourite teacher. I always learn with you.Wonderful post, my friend!

pearshapedcrafting said...

You really do inspire me to try different things! I have some plants in the garden at the caravan that I am sure will give me some lovely colours although I do remember my Mum using natural dyes and the results not always being what we expected! Must remember to take some fabric when we go next week! Chrisx

Rita said...

Nice! I like how it looks distressed and old. :)

chrissies said...

Wonderful ideas which I must try. Love what you made.

Chrissie x

Anonymous said...

love your experiments looks fabulous its great to recycle

Cindy McMath said...

Very cool Elizabeth - Red onion skins would be fun too. Looking forward to seeing the finished piece another day. You are the Queen of Free and Recycling!