Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dyeing fabric using turmeric: a follow-up

For those of you who missed Thursday's monthly tutorial where I dyed white bed sheets using turmeric, you can review it here.

As promised, this is the follow-up to that original post, where this time I used a stainless steel pot and cooked the turmeric/alum mixture on the stove.  I first heated the mixture to boiling, then added the fabric and thread.  I reduced the heat and allowed the items in the pot to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Once the pot was cool, I removed the fabric and thread from the pot.

Then I began to unwrap everything.

Imagine my surprise

when I realized the turmeric had still not dissolved!  That was a lesson I had not expected.

My art friend CJ asked why I didn't use rubber bands instead of string to tie my fabric the first time.  The truth was, I didn't have many rubber bands.  In fact, I only found one and stretched it as far as it would go.  I was also worried the rubber might either soften or break when heated.  Luckily, neither of these things happened.

The thread was already this beautiful color when I added it to the dye bath.

I saw no appreciable difference between the thread before and after I placed it in the heated dye bath.  So, another thing I learned was, you do NOT need heat for this process to work.

Next, it was time to wash and unwrap

the remaining pieces I had dyed.

One thing I forgot to mention was, I placed three can lids inside the lace wrapped fabric that I held in place with a clothes pin.  Even the lids took on a lovely yellow color.  Be sure you use a can opener that doesn't leave a sharp edge on the lids, though.

As I was unfolding the fabric, I noticed the colors on this carpet ad.  How ironic they should be mainly in the yellow and orange family.  I'm so glad I used these old pages from a 1972 supplement to the daily newspaper.

I guess you can tell I was enamored with the beautiful color I got from this originally white thread.  Only time and use will tell if the color permeated through to the plastic core.

The lace was beautiful, and only slightly mottled.  The part that didn't receive the dye was under the clothes pin.

All of the pieces took the dye well, but I could tell

the lace took the dye best.

Of course, I was really pleased with

the fabric I tied off with the rubber band.

What is it about turmeric and flying bugs that attract them to this color or scent?  Different day, different bug.  Same attraction.

Please enjoy the fruits of my labor.

It was harder to capture their beauty once they had dried because

the wind had the final say yesterday.

Even dry, they were a stunning yellow.  And mottled, too!

After I gathered the pieces and folded them, I was walking back to my porch when I saw movement.  Of course, I had my camera (and my fabric) in my hand

so I quickly zoomed in on my visitor.

Can spring be far behind, now?

Thanks for joining me for this promised update on turmeric dyed fabric, lace, and thread.   I hope you learned as much as I did.  I'll add this to my tutorials under turmeric dyeing update.

What I learned:

1) You don't need heat for turmeric to permeate fabric.

2) Turmeric NEVER completely dissolves.

3) Results will depend on the type of fabric you dye.

4) Mottling takes place best when the fabric goes in the dye bath dry and how you fold the fabric.

Again, I am incredibly grateful for your visits, comments, and questions which I will ALWAYS answer on YOUR blog.

20 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

what stunning results!! adore the lace. Can't wait to see you use some of this in your work,now!

Cindy McMath said...

The colours are really amazing. Now I see why I end up with curry stains on my clothes if I spill! Thanks for dropping by my blog. You mentioned the shading around the heart in my most recent postcard. I wanted to let you know that it is done with a black water-soluble crayon like the ones I sent you. I outlined the heart and then smudged it with my finger. You can use a paintbrush and water but since my paint is acrylic (and thus non-porous), sometimes the crayon slips around too much for my liking, and so I usually just rub it with my finger.

Sandra Cox said...

I just can't get over how pretty that color is.
You did a great job, Elizabeth.
Let's hear it for robins and spring!
Enjoy your Sunday.

Valerie-Jael said...

Colours are so fabulous, I must try this sooner or later when I have a suitable pot! Have a great day, hugs Valerie

froebelsternchen said...

Oh my gosh - this looks absolutely amazing with this fantastic color!
Yes - the first sign of spring are already to see! That gives hope!
Happy start to the new week dear Elizabeth!
oxo Susi

My name is Erika. said...

You know, I saw a whole flock of robins at school a couple of weeks ago. But no spring here. The BIG snowstorm has started and the white stuff is coming down pretty hard right now. But I love seeing your bare ground, little specks of green and your robin. I hope spring is really soon because mine might be soon to follow. :)
But I do love the yellow your tumeric dyeing creates. Its gorgeous. That color is great. Thanks for second dyeing lesson. One of these days when the snow disappears and I see robins in my yard i will get back to my dyeing fun. Happy new week. Hugs-Erika

Jo Murray said...

WOW! Fabulous colour Elizabeth!

Anonymous said...

Great results, will have to try some tumeric when Spring arrives. Robins funnily enough, stay here all winter. They were eating my sumac buds a short while ago. xox

Let's Art Journal said...

Gorgeous colours and patterning! Thanks for sharing the process and your learning :-). Happy new week! J :-)

Meggymay said...

Somehow I missed Thursdays post so popped over to read it first.
The colours today are beautiful, I love the thread and the lace, well it all looks fantastic but those pieces were my favourites.
Thank you for sharing the process with us and all the amazing photos.
Your garden visitor looked happy, great close up photos.
Yvonne xx

My name is Erika. said...

I just wanted to mention that so far we have power. Keep your fingers crossed it stays on once the wind picks up later. Thanks for asking. :) Hope you have better weather than we are having here. :) Hugs-Erika

Birgit said...

The colour is so strong which is great! I. Surprised that it didn't dissolve which makes me wonder how it works in our stomach:) mi d you it's supposed to be great for us so I am not worried actually, love the lace look. I wonder how eggplant would work?

chrissie said...

It all looks terrific Elizabeth. I especially like the lace colour.

Have a great day

Love Chrissie xx

CJ Kennedy said...

Thanks for answering the rubber band question. I'm not a big fan of yellow, but that is a really beautiful shade. Sunny and warm. A stark contrast to the cold white landscape outside my window. I was happy to see your robin. Will be a couple of months before a robin makes an appearance here.

Nancy said...

Wonderful results! I'm so glad to know about this method because the color is so beautiful.

Gaby Bee said...

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Divers and Sundry said...

That color is gorgeous!

We have robins year-round here, but it's a joke in my family to say, "Look! The first robin of Spring!" when we see one this time of year :) Our robin has discovered the meal worms in the feeder on the patio, and it's fun to watch the mockingbird trying to defend the feeder from the laid-back robin. Quite the show lol

Carol said...

Great post and I love the colors you got with the turmeric !!! I have made a salve of it and dandelion oil for my arthritis before works but everything it touches is a bright yellow which was not always a happy thing. So I don't use it much.

Sandy said...

You have more energy than I have but I have to admit - the color is gorgeous!!! Bravo!!!
Sandy xx

Jeanie said...

that color knocks my socks off. It is MY yellow. And it looks fabulous.

You put such a lot into your work and it shows -- beautiful. Just beautiful.