Sunday, March 6, 2016

Experimental Dyeing

While offline, I tried some experimental dyeing.  One of the things I tried was

dyeing fabric using grape juice.

I began with lace, which was thin.

It was easy to section the lace in a modified shibori diagonal accordion fold.  I used plastic clips to hold the folds in place.  I hoped these clips would also create distinctive marks in the lace.

Next I tried another accordion fold
and tied the white fabric in rubber bands.  I should mention this is dry fabric torn from an old bed sheet.

My final piece was torn from a pink bed sheet and fan folded.  I tried to place clips on the three corners, but the fabric was too thick and the clips simply wouldn't hold.  I thought about trying to find other clips or even clothes pins, but decided not to bother.

I placed the various dry fabrics in a bucket

and added three small bottles (10 fl oz, 296mL per bottle) of grape juice and heated everything in the microwave for six minutes, in two minute intervals.  I allowed the juice and fabric to cool overnight, then removed the fabric and disposed of the grape juice in my compost container.

I allowed the fabric to dry in my basement for three days, but everything was still wet when I thought it was time to undo the clips and rubber bands.

That's when I decided to take the fabric outside to see if it would dry there.  What's that on the turquoise clip?

I believe it was a bug.  Note the accordion folded fabric wrapped in rubber bands is in the background soaking up the sun.

This is the fan folded once pink fabric.  It doesn't look much different than it did before the grape juice dye bath.

Once everything was dry, I removed the clips and rubber bands and prepared to see if this was successful or a failure.  I tried to show where the clips had been on the lace, although I'm not sure they did much for the design.  I believe these clips would have worked better with solid color fabric, instead of lace.

Next I unwrapped the accordion folds

and was rather disappointed.  Where the grape juice had penetrated, all was well.  But most of the fabric had been untouched by the grape juice.  I can't believe I was able to tie the rubber bands that tightly.

Also, the fan folded pink fabric was nothing to write home about.  If you are looking for a subtle mottled pink (and I do love mottled), grape juice is something you should try.  But if you are looking for a bold, in-your-face grape, you'll need a different dye, certainly not grape juice.

The grape juice worked relatively well, albeit subtly, on the lace, which was not cotton, but didn't work well on the cotton bed sheets.   Thanks for dropping by today because I always appreciate your interest in what I'm cooking up. 

12 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

I always love to read about your experiments, complete with bugs, hitches etc.
The various materials have taken on some patterning and colour though. Funny, if you get juice on your clothes it seems to leave such bold stains! Have a fun day, Sweetie, hugs, Valerie

Annie said...

oh my what a great fun thing to try. Thank you for bothering to both show the results and such detailed explanation. I might have a go in the summer. Annie xxx

Meggymay said...

A super experiment and post to read, I was thinking the colours would have been much deeper. However the subtle shades do look lovely and perhaps be more usable in that more colour could be added at a future time.
Yvonne xx

Halle said...

I would have thought you'd end up with a darker color since I'm sure if you would have spilled it on your carpet the stain would have been shockingly dark!

My name is Erika. said...

I never thought about dyeing with grape juice. You would think it would work better, but maybe when they add all the sugar and water and process it it kills the coloring. I've always wanted to try natural dyeing beyond tea and coffee. I bet beet juice would work good. And I heard red onion seeing your experiments. Interesting caucus results yesterday. I think there could be some interesting results in the rest of the states, and at least its not photocopied repeats in every state this time. Yup, I baked a cake last night, which I need to frost today and I am heading up to play today after I frost my very excited to have a play day! Happy Sunday to you. Hugs!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love seeing your fabric experiments whether they be dyeing or rusting - you always seem to get results! Even if they are not what you were hoping for these are lovely! I bet if you used your two pink fabrics together they would look good! I, on the other hand attempted to do some rusted fabric - you I am sure will tell me where I went wrong…I used cotton fabric, I wrapped up some keys(not rusted- just keys) put them in with water and vinegar left them for a.a.a.ages out on my balcony, got the rubber gloves on, unwrapped it all - everything just as I had put it in - except wet of course!!! I am now going to ask my son for some rusty stuff next time he is working on an older house - lucky lad he is away to Rome and Budapest this week so will have to wait! Hugs, Chrisx ps we are home now so will be catching up with everything!!!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I adore to see your extraordinary experimenting - never thought about dying with grape juice! I think the bug was fascinated by the sweet flavour!
I think that are super results you got!

oxo Susi

Nancy said...

Kitchen dyeing indeed. How come when we spill grape juice on a tee shirt, we get such dark coloration?? Go figure. Interesting experiment.

Darla said...

Always interested in your experiments. I do like the way the lace took the color

Carol said...

Which reminds me I have a quart of wild grape juice in the frig that lost it's seal so it can't be used for food . I just may have to play with it on some fabric and see what I come up with. Thanks for the reminder :)

Corrine at said...

Dyeing is always a mysterious process. Not sure if grape juice has enough oomph to really work the way a rit type dye does. But if we don't try how do we discover anything new. Nice experiement. xox

~*~Patty S said...

Interesting experiment E.
I wonder if using frozen concentrate would have yielded a stronger color?
Also wondered if the fabrics were dampened first might they have absorbed more color?
Those are interesting clips too.
Looking at the photo with the blue and pink clipped lace showing the liquid does look brownish rather than purple like one would expect.
Maybe these pieces will make a good starting point for further experimentation. They are neat looking.