Sunday, November 15, 2015

A different way to eco-dye

Today I'm in my kitchen where I'm getting ready to do some eco-dyeing.  Now I realize I've eco-dyed before.  It involved gathering, wrapping, steaming for several hours, then leaving the cooled product in a closed bag for several weeks.  It works best in winter or late autumn because you are less susceptible to the fabric getting mold on it.  I explain the process in this post.

Today is much different, though.  Although there was the gathering, this time it included some of my left over basil that had gone to seed, along with a few rose petals, as well as a couple of unknown flowers and stems from the flowering plant I brought in last Friday.  A couple of "past their prime" geranium leaves joined the mix, along with some oxidized wire.  If the wire looks familiar, that's because it's the same that I used as my beaded hanger on Day 2 of AEDM

Also on the table is a new container of very expensive alum I had to buy today, and an empty and clean glass jar and lid.

Two smaller pieces joined the mix, since I had gathered more than I could put in a single bundle.  CAUTION, please: wear disposable gloves when handling anything rusty (like that rusted lid) since rust affects the hemoglobin in your blood.

Something else different is instead of wrapping the bundles tightly in wax linen, I left one unwrapped, and I wrapped two in rubber bands.

Next I got out my CRAFT ROOM ONLY measuring utensils,

then realized I hadn't torn the tamper resistant cover off the top of the jar.

I needed one teaspoon of alum for every cup of water I placed in the glass jar.  Remember, PLEASE!  I don't care if this is a cooking product, or toxic, DO NOT use it in food preparation after you have used it in your art.  It's like me saying don't throw your acrylic paint in your 13 bean soup.  You wouldn't do it, so PLEASE keep all craft products, including those measuring spoons and the alum you have just dipped that measuring spoon into, in your craft room or studio, and don't allow them to stray into your kitchen for anything other than an art project.

OK, I'm climbing off my soap box now, because while I was ranting, I was also stirring the alum into the warm tap water.  Yep, this is straight from the tap.  I added the dry bundles to the alum/water mix, screwed the lid on the jar, and 
set the jar in my sunny south window.  If this actually works, I'll do it again after I show YOU my results.  But for now, I'll just let it sit on my kitchen windowsill and let it soak up the late autumn sunshine.  That is, until the jar cluttering the windowsill starts to bug me, and then I'll probably get tired of the clutter and peek.

This was Day 16 of AEDM, and I prepared some bundles for sun eco-dyeing.  Thanks for visiting and joining me on this journey through the month of November.  Some days are more fun than others, and today was one of those fun days.

17 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

This looks very interesting, and is something I have never tried. I made erosion bundles a couple of times, but this is very different, and rather fascinating. I am looking forward to seeing the finished results. How long does it have to stay in the jar? Thanks for showing the fun, and have a great day, hugs, Valerie

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for the answer on my blog, Sweetie! Hugs, Valerie

Viktoria Berg said...

This reminded me of the "green wave" during the seventies and early eighties, when people were exploring natura, eco-friendly l ways to do all sorts of things. My neighbour lady had sheep and used to dye with moss and birchleaves and felt hats and gloves and such. Kind of like this:

http://medeltiden.ifokus.se/articles/4d714c7eb9cb46222d05f1cf-vaxtfarga-med-bjorklov

It will be exciting to see how your project turns out!

pearshapedcrafting said...

This looks fascinating and I certainly will be watching for when you show the results! You are having such wonderful ideas for your month of art! Hugs, Chrisx

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Wow.. you never cease to amaze me with your interesting experiments..never heard about this way of dying .I am looking forward to seeing the finished results.
Happy new week Elizabeth!
oxo
Susi

Julia Dunnit said...

I have NO idea what Alum is, so will be investigating that. Meanwhle, I'm with you - it can only sit there till it makes my fingers itchy to see the result! if it needs longer than I can stand, it would defnitely have to go somewhere where I couldn't see it daily, and then I'd have to make a diary note...!

NatureFootstep said...

wow, this is soo much fun. If I was younger I would probably start doing just this. My grandmother was doing some of this and I was interested. But then, life got in the way. Now it is all photography and manipulation.

Glad you like my work. :) Your comments are appreciated.

Actually, in your images above, the layout on cloth on your table would be a great image in it´s own right. And so do the image on the window sill. :)
Monica

Stacie said...

Looks interesting! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Meggymay said...

This was a great interesting post to read. Alum will have to be looked into, as up until now I have never come across it. Looking forward to seeing your results.
Yvonne xx

Darla said...

The process looks interesting, can't wait to see to end results. I really do like that blue glass bottle in on your window sill.

Susan Carol said...

Oh how tantalising! I want to see the finished result! I hope you will show us soon. Love the look of all the bits and pieces laid out, should be a gorgeous effect. I had never heard of Alum.

Maron said...

Interesting process. I'll be excited to see how it comes out and what you use it for.

sheila 77 said...

Gosh, the things you get up to. This all sounds and looks absolutely fascinating and I will be very interested to see the results. I would be having a peak at the bundles every week or maybe more often.

Jo Murray said...

Watching this with interest.

S Vogel Jessop said...

Intriguing. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

My name is Erika. said...

I can't wait to see how this eco-dying comes out. I will admit I don't know if I have the patience to wait for the results, but I would like to try it myself. And tell me, did you get the waterbed into the basement?

johanna said...

oh, i´m so curious how this will turn out... one autunm again i missed dyeing- well, also due to lack of space here. i have the book of india flint about eco dyeing, but some of it sounds very Elaborate, with mordants and such, i don´t want it too complicated.
but your flowers look so great, i´m sure there will be great results among it. and Patience, well... that´s another Story...