Thursday, March 5, 2015

Eco dying

When a fossick at the op shop yielded a cream silk dress for $1, I knew straight away what I would do with it. I have dabbled in dying textiles with plants etc before but without really being invested if you know what I mean ... This time I decided to focus and see what I could create.

The dress will yield lots of strips of fabric and is really soft from lots of laundering. First I dampened it and scattered it with rusty nails.

A quick trip around the garden produced some eucalyptus bark and dried rose petals (don't have to dead head them now!)

I wrapped the whole lot around a rusted steel sheet that I had printmaking plans for, and bound it pretty tightly with binding wire.

Then it went into my make-shift dye pot where it steamed for a bit over an hour.

It looked fairly mucky when I took it out ...

I rinsed it in salty water and then plain water - it is still pretty gross looking if you ask me!

Once it was dry I washed it with a gentle soap and finally once it dried again it started to look halfway decent.

Apparently the gumtree bark is responsible for making the rusty things turn black. I like how you can kinda make out some of the shapes of the rusty nails. The pics are not really a fair representation as it looks quite a bit more subdued in reality. I love the organic marks and the way the colours melt into each other. 

Not quite India Flint standard but intriguing and well worth trying again! I am hopeful that I can incorporate some of my dyed textile into a piece of jewellery ...