Sunday, December 7, 2014

Eco-dyeing, the third time around

I had such a good outcome the last time I eco-dyed fabric, I decided to try it again.  Not sure where I read this (maybe on India Flint's blog, but don't hold me to it), but I read somewhere I could eco-dye raspberry leaves.  If you've been around my blog at all, you know I have a ton of them.

So I was off to my basement for fabric I could dye, and this time, instead of a white bed sheet, I used some of my pale blue.  The same pale blue that yielded the beautiful rusted dancers I revealed during last month's marathon (AEDM).

But this time, it was all about experimenting, and I wanted less rust, and more leaves.  For the first piece, I covered my rusty upside down "J" with a piece of fabric, then sorted my leaves into new and "mostly" dead.   These are the "mostly" dead ones.

One of my main problems is, I can't wrap my fabric tightly enough, so I decided to try wrapping them in rubber bands or crochet thread, which I hoped I could make tighter. 

HMMM!  Not exactly the wrap I was going for, but I can't seem to get a tight wrap, no matter what I try.   Note also, some of the "really" dead leaves broke and a couple even fell out of the fabric when I rolled it.

For my second fabric, I chose mostly live leaves and laid them out in a pleasing pattern.  Note I have used only leaves, no stick, no rusty piece.

But wait.  I have a small container filled with rusty filings, so

I randomly threw them onto the fabric and leaves.  The sack in the back right holds my rubber bands.

However, for this piece I decided to use crochet thread.  Hard to get it even and even harder to try to tie off with only the two hands I was born with.

I still had lots of room in my pot and a few leaves, so I chose some that were wind swept into my yard.  I tore an old pair of shorts my friend Sally gave me that she told me was cotton, but I knew as soon as I tore it, it had some polyester in it.  Probably a LOT of polyester.

I don't seem to do too well with rubber bands.  I also have no idea what the sticks are for, unless it's to keep the fabric straight. 

For that, however, I would need a bigger steam pot. 

My fourth set of leaves went on top of a piece of the fabric I had used as part of my scrappy journal cover I made during AEDM last month.  It was white on one side and yellow and white on the other.  I chose to place the leaves on the white side

and tied the bundle with crochet thread.  I think I got a better tie this time, but it could be because the fabric was so thick.

They all fit well in my steam pot, and I steamed them for several hours.  I didn't check, I just removed them from the heat late in the day when I thought about them.

I will unveil them on the 21st, so watch for how well they did.  Remember, the last two don't have any rust, so I'm hoping there will be a bit of rusty transfer.

Thanks for dropping by today to see my latest eco-dyeing experiment.

13 thoughtful remarks:

johanna said...

i think your eco-dying ist a really "advent-ly" think, as you have to wait and tame your impatience;) i´m curious concerning the outcome, esp of the rusting! thanks for all your steps, i´m crossing my fingers for a beautiful result!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I hope with you that we will get a good result ... love to watch all this.... it' so exciting for me to watch this all - like I am a guest in a good witch's kitchen!
Have a nice Sunday Elizabeth!
Thank you for sharing all this and a big hug
to Mr. Bleubeard!

Kyla said...

I'd have never thought of tying the leaves up in the fabric whole (I usually bash the hell out of them with a mallet!!)-I look forward to seeing how they turn out. As to the rust-you can never go wrong with some rust on fabric or paper-always a lovely effect :-)


Jo Murray said...

I can hardly wait to see!

TwinkleToes2day said...

How exciting!! I do hope you get good results. I can't wait till you reveal all on the 21st. Why the 21st Elizabeth? Have a good week ahead :o) x

Rita said...

I'll be waiting to see, too! :)

Nan G said...

I agree with one for above.....we're peeking over the shoulder of an alchemist. Or should I say we are being taught by one. Love your experiments, the results and how you use them. The Girls are snoring away so I'll send nose kisses to Bleubeard for them. Hugs from me.

Corrine at said...

Be great to see the result Elizabeth which I know you will turn into some wonderful journal or hanging. xox

Craftymoose Crafts said...

It is always interesting to read about your dying projects and exciting to see the results with you! You have way more patience than me for something like this...I'd be peaking for sure!

Halle said...

These are always so much fun to see the before and after. Looking forward to the reveal.

Krisha said...

You always have such interesting ideas and exciting to read your blog.
Looking foreword to seeing how all this turns out.
Happy T-day and thanks for the early visit! too Bluebeard!

pearshapedcrafting said...

This looks really interesting-should produce a good variety of results! I remember my Mum using raspberry leaves for dyeing! I also remember her using slip knots to get a tighter hold on fabric as well as twisting before she tied her bundles but appreciate that arthritic hands may find this difficult too. I've been fortunate this year -so far anyway-I have arthritis in both my big toes(I blame playing judo in my teens)I'm not sure whether it's been due to eating more red cherries or just warmer, drier weather! Look forward to seeing the reveal! Hugs, Chrisx

massofhair said...

Love following your experiments Elizabeth, looking forward to the reveal :-) xxx