I have often wondered how the ancients got their wonderful colours, now I think I may have a small insight to some of their techniques. Some of you may have read one of my previous posts on Eco Dying, posted in May this year. I had been fascinated by India Flint’s book on Eco Dying for a while now and find her experiments intriguing.
I have been experimenting with more juicy fading flowers, this time Hemerocallis Bela Lugosi. Again just as with the iris in the other post, I was finding that as I dead headed them I was getting covered in juice that stained my fingers. So I started collecting them and steeping them in rain water.
After a couple of weeks I had enough to try my first batch. This was boiled and then strained ready for the first mordent fabric…again I was amazed at what happened….
Faded juicy flowers boiled in rain water.
Far from being what I thought might be reds and oranges, I got a gorgeous shade of purple. I tried plain natural cotton, calico and silk.For the silk I thought I would harp back to the sixties and do a bit of tie dying, so I tied some small stones in at intervals all over a large piece. This also went in the pot… to my surprise this came out a lovely shade of Dove Grey with a hint of purple and the stone resist worked too.
Dye vat with fabric turned purple.
Finished dried and ironed.
Tie dyed with stones …Silk
Lastly I did a cold bundle. This is done by wetting a piece of mordant fabric slightly, then laying the juicy fading flowers on, either in a pattern or randomly all over it. This was rolled up tightly and twisted for more effect, tied up with strong twine and hung to dry. Here you are hoping the flowers are squashed enough to yield some colour. And boy did it…..
Cold bundled cotton fabric.
With all these pieces of fabric I need to think of interesting ways of using them, still thinking of book covers but maybe some small purses or makeup bags, what do you think… ? Sue.