April 3, 2012

Last Last Batch before Japan...

The last post was supposed to be the last batch of dyeing before my visit to Japan, but I had some  mixed alum left and I didn't want it to go to waste. What else to do? The truth is that I discovered something very interesting which might be of interest to those of you eco-dyers out there. It might not be a new technique for some, but for me it is. I have been using alum, rusty metal and copper for mordant to give a different effect to the fabric. Being a city dweller, rusty metal is not easy to come by. I found rusty nails give solid lumps and uneven patterns on the fabric. While preparing this last bundle I spotted steel wool (the saucepan cleaner steel wool) which I brought back from Japan on my last trip. I know that steel wool gives out good results in natural dye.  I learned that in one of the natural dye workshops in Japan.


Our vine leaves are starting to change colour to yellow and brown so I thought I might use some for dyeing. I had a long piece of silk mordanted with alum. I covered the silk with vine leaves and before I rolled it up I sprinkled thinly over it with steel wool. I was sure it will do something, but what? I needed to wait. I only waited for just over a week to unwrap it. I was pleasantly surprised of the result! The photo doesn't do justice to it here. The real colour is camouflage green evenly spread with leave imprints and darker green effects from steel wool. I will be using it again with other leaves in the future for sure...


What else did I dye? The heart in the above photo comes in handy as a patch over a hole. I dyed it using eucalyptus bark cut into a heart shape and placed in between two layers of silk, rolled and steamed. 


Moon resisted in natural dye. My experience with moon dyeing came from shibori with indigo dye. I used two pieces of rubber disks over a few layers of silk, secured it with clamps and dropped the whole thing in the dye bath. I think this one was from the oak dyed bath. I love using a moon shape on my boro cloth. 


These are how many bundles I did that day. I'm a kind of glad I did it because I can take them to Japan with me as samples for when I give the tour members an eco-dyeing workshop. I hope to experiment with cherry blossoms and its bark. 


The large bundle was this long linen shirt I found at my local opportunity shop. I turned it inside out and stuffed it with eucalyptus leaves. I added a few rusty nails with the leaves. It looked so cool when I unwrapped it. Good enough to be in a fashion magazine I think! 


Washed and ironed it is ready for some fun stitching. I inserted another piece of eco-dyed linen at the bottom of the side seams to flared out at the bottom. I boroed a few patches on the front and one on the back. The heart patch (above) is on the back shoulder where the hole was. 


It is still a work in progress. I will take it with me on the tour. Something to stitch when I have a spare moment and wear it as well. I hope some designer will spot me wearing it in Tokyo and commission me to make half a dozen more. One can only dream right? 

Well, this is it everyone. My last few days left at work and using the Easter weekend for packing. Come Monday, I'm up up and away to meet dear Lis for the first time at Narita airport. We are having a date to explore Tokyo for a day. A must visit is Blue & White Japan



Enjoy
Nat

16 comments:

Kim said...

Have a wonderful trip! I hope you have the best time ever. I'll be looking forward to your pictures.

Happy Sewing and safe travels

deanna7trees said...

a great post. i have steel wool sitting right here and i will use it next time. and that shirt is fabulous. wishing a great trip. can't wait to hear all the stories when you return.

Kathie said...

I can't believe its almost time for you to go!
Have fun and take lots of pictures!!!!
I am very jealous of all the indigos your going to see there and you will get to bring home ;)
Enjoy your trip!
Kathie

Suzanna said...

Love your shirt, Nat...have a wonderful trip!

Connie Rose said...

The fabric with the steel wool is really fabulous, ditto the linen shirt. Love how you processed that!

Sand and Sunshine said...

Those turned out great. I like the first swatch the best what character! Have a safe trip and best of luck finding that person wanting you to make more.

onesmallstitch said...

oh, gee whiz, you just never stop. have a safe trip, fun at Blue and White and see you soon.

Jeannie said...

Beautiful results, Nat! I knew about steel wool, but hadn't tried it yet. It is now on the top of the list. Have a fantastic time on your trip. I hope you and your traveling companions find treasures, inspiration (how could one not!), and much joy in being together. xo

Terry said...

Hi we are doing the everything in boxes thing here so no crafty things happening.
I was just thinking you should be close to going on your magic trip. Have a wonderful time and bring back lots of great ideas.
The shirt is deffinately designer quality.

Janet said...

You just amaze me with your dying, I love to read about your experiments. I hope your tour goes fantastically, I'm sure it will. Enjoy your time away.

Simone de Klerk said...

The linen shirt is absolutely amazing and I love how you are adding extra to it! A fashion magazine? I think an art magazine!
Have a very very good time in Japan!!!!

blandina (aracne) said...

Wow, an eco-dyeing workshop! I do not think we will have much time to stitch our clothes nor to go for a daily walk...Gosh, I can not wait.

Astrid said...

Wishing you a wonderful trip to Japan! Have fun and enjoy your stay! The linen shirt is just amazing, I love it! Love readin and learning about your dyeing. Can't wait to read news from your trip! Stay safe!

Els said...

That linen shirt is really something Nat !!! Wonderful to keep stitching on it ... ;-)
Hope the weather is going to be a bit better when you arrive in Japan, rather bad storms I heard ... Have a good tour all of you !

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Wow Nat what a post...the bundles are fantastic...love the shirt...what fun it must be to do all this...enjoy it all...guess what I have iphone now...when I work out how to send email I will send you one...Love Dzintra xoxoxox

lynda Howells said...

Have a wonderful trip and hope your gorgeous shirt gets noticed and fame heads your wayxxhax

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