August 8, 2013

Natural Dye Plus Plus!

I had a few dyed bundles waiting patiently to be opened. I only manage to wait over a week if I'm home. The colour of the bundles was so deep and inviting that I couldn't wait any longer!  Here in Australia we are spoiled for choice when it come to eco-dye/print. The country is covered in eucalyptus trees, especially where I work. Our gardeners know well that I collect any fallen branches so when they are pruning they ask if I want any of them. On many occasions I have to turn them down because you only can use so much to dye with. I know all of the trees in the campus and only look for leaves that I know give out good colour. In this batch I used rusty tin cans I found on one of the trips in the country that I posted here. The photos are not in the right order, but I will add the caption underneath each photo. Enjoy!

These leaves were from inside the bundles. You got to love dyeing to appreciate the beauty of it!

This was how it looked when I opened one of the bundles. The rich orange colour is made by eucalyptus leaves and flower buds.

Here are three bundles of vintage kimono silk wrapped over the tin cans with eucalyptus leaves stuffed between the layers. I steamed them in the camellia flower bath. The camellia flowers give out a deep pink colour when boiled for an hour.  

This is what it looks like when you unwrap the bundle. I'm very happy with this batch. I don't always look for just imprints from the leaves. I like the deep colour created by the leaves and rust. 

Another kind of dyeing is happening here as well. Earlier in Autumn I gathered some persimmon leaves and wondered if they would be any good for dyeing? I know you can dye with persimmon fruit kakishibu, but I have never read anything about dyeing with leaves. I didn't have time to try when I first got the leaves so I soak them in rain water and left them for ages. Last week I boiled the leaves for a few hours. To my surprise the colour of the liquid was deep orange brown! I added a couple of pieces of silk in the pot and boiled them for an hour. I found this beautiful deep tan silk! I've bought a book of kakishibu and it says the sunlight improves the colour of the fabric, but we don't have a lot of sunlight to try at the moment so we will have to wait and see! 

The two pieces of silk on the right are the ones dyed with persimmon leaves. The one on the left is dyed with olive leaves using the same method as persimmon leaves dye. I found that it's nice to have plain fabric to go with ecoprint fabric. 

Here are the results of the dye using a tin can. This piece reminds me of shibori dye. My friend Quiltsalad said it looks like a slice from an agate! That's what nature does. You can't predict how it will turn out!

This is from another bundle. The marks on the left are string marks and on the right are the patterns created by the leaves. 

Back to weaving. It has been a long time since I started this double weave. I attended one workshop before I went to New Zealand. I missed one workshop while I was away and the other workshop was cancelled by the tutor, so this Saturday is my next workshop. For my homework I had threaded the warp threads and started weaving with rags to even out the warp threads. I'm ready for my next lesson!  

I did some spinning using the wool I dyed with onion skin and Oxalis flowers. In the photo it looks yellow, but actually it had orange mottles mixed through it. I also spun some natural yarn for dyeing in the future. I'm spinning very fine yarns for two reasons. Firstly I want to learn to control the speed of the wheel and secondly I want to spin even yarns. I still need a lot of practice.

A little stitching is going on here, but really not much at all. I have an exhibition space booked for November this year with the members of my craft group. I have something in mind for it, but they all need work. I always believe that it will be alright on the day! Let's hope so!

Until next time


Kim said...

What great results, how often do you dye? I bet your'll have plenty of great things done for your display!

Happy Sewing and all the wonderful arts you do!

Nedra said...

You are such a diverse artist! I can almost smell the eucalyptus from here :) and the persimmon color turned out lovely. Beautiful work, as always.

Betty said...

I am always amazed at the different things you can make. I love the colors you chose in the weaving project.

deanna7trees said...

you make very good use of your time. hard to believe that you also have a full time job. beautiful results, as usual. looking forward to the weaving adventure.

Terry said...

Natural dyes are always a pleasant surprise.
You always inspire others and I'm sure the exhibition will be great.

Jeannie said...

Gorgeous results, Nat!!! I love seeing the flower buds mixed with the leaves. It is such a textural delight for the eyes.

Tracy said...

DELICIOUSLY BEAUTIFUL results, Nat... I'm practically drooling here... LOL! :o) LOVELY result from the persimmon mix. You know, your dye photos are just as wonderful as the fabric finishes. The weaving is very pretty--I like the colors. Happy Days ((HUGS))

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Boy Nat those natural colours are spectacular....what fun to do all this xo

Nancy said...

Nat your dye results are amazing! We have many persimmons fallen on the dirt right down the street...Mmmm, you've got me thinking!
Love the little weaving, will look forward to where it goes from here :)

Dale said...

Hello Natima,
It looks like you are having fun with all the experiments using these natural materials to do the dye.
When I was little, I used to collect berries and flowers to cut them up and see what's inside. I still remember some of the berries have red/pink juice that would stay on my finger tips for a couple of days. Spring is coming and maybe you will be able to find some interesting fruits and berries to experiment with.
I am curious to know: will the colour from the natural dye fade quickly with each wash? How do you retain the dye in the fabric?

Dale :)

av女優 said...


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