Saturday, November 8, 2014


Today I'll be eco-dyeing, or slow dyeing.  This technique is taught by India Flint (the first link is to her blog and this is her web site).  The object is to steam the fabric, then set it aside to finish processing. 

I decided the rocks should go inside the veggie steamer, instead of under it.  Be aware, the stainless steel pan and veggie steamer are designated for my crafts ONLY.

I tore a full length of twin bed sheet, then tore it into three manageable lengths.

I forgot to take a photo of the first bundle before I tied it, but it has two rusty can lids and a few dead leaves in it.  Be sure to wear gloves for this process, whenever working with rusty materials, since the rust will affect the hemoglobin in your bloodstream.

I remembered to take photos of the second bundle, which has a rusty railroad tie, a piece of corrugated cardboard I found in my rust bucket, and various pieces from my and my neighbor's garden.

My fresh sage, along with dead leaves, petals from a geranium, fresh evergreen,

and ferns, 

make up this second bundle.   I folded the edges inward to keep the plant material from falling out in the steaming process.

I tied the bundle with wax linen and added it to the pot.

I was nearly out of items to add to the third bundle, which also included a rusty piece, dead leaves from my yard, tiny bits of evergreen, and a dying rose from my neighbor.

Now it was time to steam this bundle for a few hours.  I added enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, but not above the veggie steamer and rocks.  I added the lid and turned the heat to medium.

Once it had steamed properly, I removed the bundles and wrapped them in a plastic bag.  I will open these bundles in about two weeks.  You will get to see if this time, I did it right, or if I messed up again.  The first time I tried this, I cooked the bundles, rather than steaming them.  I got one nice piece, though, if you want to see what I did the first time I tried this technique.  This is part one and this is part two.

Thanks for visiting today, when I started my second batch of eco-dyeing in hopes that I did it right this time.  BTW, most people wrap their bundles in sticks.  I chose rusty pieces instead because the rusted piece I used before gave the best results.

I can't stress two things strongly enough:

1) Always, always wear protective disposable gloves when working with rusty pieces


2) Never use products or tools in food preparation that are designated for your craft room.  Good equipment can be found in thrift stores or you can get them from friends.  Please be safe when working with products that are designated for your craft room or studio only.

For Day 9

of AEDM, I started an Eco-dyeing process.  Only time will tell if it is a success or not.  Speaking of time, I will be gone most of tomorrow, because it is the last nice day before our promised frigid weather arrives with daytime highs that will be well below freezing.

21 thoughtful remarks:

Jennifer McLean said...

Ooh, I can't wait to see how they turn out!! Great project.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh this looks so interesting and essential - I so hope the dying will be sucessful ... very curious to see it then!
Have a fantastic Sunday ELizabeth!

Anneliese said...

Really very nicely explained and interesting - but to wait two weeks - oh what a torture!

Vicki Miller said...

I will be waiting with baited breath! So long to wait!
Thanks for your lovely comments. Much appreciated.

Nan G said...

What an amazing technique. Also waiting with baited breath for the results. Hugs from the Girls to Bleubeard.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I'm not sure if I have patience enough to wait 2 weeks to peak into the bundles. Looking forward to seeing how awesome these come out.

Neet said...

Do miss you on WOYWW Elizabeth. Anyway, here I am and how interesting tis sounds to be. Must make a note to check in a fortnight. Hope it is a huge success.
Hugs & Tickles under the chin to Bleubeard.
Neet xx

Divers and Sundry said...

I can't get past wanting to save that railroad tie from certain destruction lol!

TwinkleToes2day said...

Like waiting for an exciting birthdy or christmas bundle to see what lays inside :D

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love seeing results of this kind of dyeing although I have still to try it myself! I don't know how you will get on without peeking - it would drive me wild! Chrisx

voodoo vixen said...

Oh I always love your rusty pieces and how they turn out... so will be waiting patiently for the results of this little steamy session!! LOL
Stay warm... it was surprsingly chilly when I did the rubbish this evening... I didn't hang around out there for long!!

Nigel Roberts said...

Good luck, I shall wait with bated breath to see what happens

Jo Murray said...

LOVELY. I eco-dye in the microwave, in a plastic bag.

massofhair said...

Sounds a fascinating process Elizabeth, looking forward to seeing the results... good things come to those who wait...

Hope you keeping well:-) xxx

Carol said...

Can't wait to see the results!!! I've missed the joy of the last two days of nice weather :( My brother-in-law had a kitchen fire...much worse than mine.. and no insurance. So the Hubs and I have been helping him clean it up and repair it. Actually my husband has done the bulk of the work...I've done the best I can with my back and useless brother-in-law has paced around mumbling about how messed up everything is ... I'd like to slap him up side of the head... too bad I'm too nice to really do it :(
So I hope you had enough fun for both of us :)

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating! Thanks for sharing it in AEDM!

*awaits results with interest and hope*

Best Wishes

johanna said...

i wish you really luck with this! i had bought india flint´s books last year and gave it a try, but well, the outcome was not so good. and this year i forgot about it. i´d love to have eucalyptus here to get this wonderful red, but couldn´t get one. crossing my fingers and being curious about your results!

~*~Patty S said...

This is something I definitely want to try more of. India Flint is indeed the Queen of all things eco dyeing.
Excited to see your results E!

Halle said...

This looks quite fun...what are the rocks for though? just to lift the bundles off the strainer?

Dianne said...

these little bundles are so cool and can't wait to see how they turn out! wondering what the colors may be (except for the rust) as plants often result in different colors than you'd expect...:)

Karla B said...

Very interesting, my friend!