Thursday, 30 March 2017

ecodye firsts!~ [first of 2017, first at new place, first.. um.. new technique!]

i am fairly settled in my new place..  more or less..  and i have my new little kitchen area in the basement all set up for dye stuff! (as well as any other art/craft/experiment/messy things!)  so now that things are not so hectic, and everything is not seeming so overwhelming, i have been having some bouts of inspiration!  also, the warmer weather and the impending spring, along with the new set up downstairs has made me a little excited about dyeing!
last summer/fall just was not good for me, so i didnt do much and winter is a dry spell along with the move, so it's been a long time since i have been able to have strange pots of experimental concoctions bubbling over on my stove, and i miss that!
i have not read a lot online about different ecodye/bundle dye/whatever dye techniques..  but i did see someone's blog, and i would post a link if i could remember it, if i find it again i will..  that explained her technique of simmering.  she had amazing looking fabrics done with big sprigs of cosmos!
normally i do my own "mordant mix" technique that i have come up with, that so far seems to work..   (i mean, i have some stuff that i made into pillows for christmas gifts in 2015 that are still good, and that's as far back as i've been making things) but most of the times i have seen anything mentioned online about cotton people have just talked about using alum.  so for these that's what i used, some alum mordanted cloth!
spring still has not sprung, so there is not much out there..  but there are pine trees!  on a walk down by the river i picked a small selection of a variety of different pine needles, at least 3 or 4 different varieties, though i am not sure which ones..   i simmered them gently in a pot of water for 10min or so..  and then turned off the heat and left them in there overnight..  it might have been longer, it could have been 2 nights, i dont really remember and my sense of time is a bit wonky.   then i took them out and put them to soak in some iron solution for a little bit.  i was just going to reserve the pine water, i thought maybe that i could use it to make cleaner or something, but when i poured it out of the pot i noticed that it was quite a dark colour, so i thought hey!  i'll use this to simmer the bundles in!
last fall i had gathered leaves, but then i just wasnt doing well and ended up not being able to do anything with them.  i decided to try freezing them in the hopes that maybe i could do something during the winter.  i wasnt sure how well that would work?  but why not!  i layed them flat in ziplock bags and put them like that in the freezer.  So, for the first bundle i did i decided to try using some of the frozen leaves!
there are mountain ash, black oak, some sort of crab apple, and some sort of maple.  after i had put them out, the thawed leaves were very dry, so i poured a whole bunch of water on them.  (i guess that's the issue with freezing leaves, they dry out.  maybe if freeze them in some liquid?  i dont know. )  then bundled it up and tied with a bit of string that had soaked for a few min in some iron solution.
the next one was the pine needles that had been soaking in the iron.
bundled and tied they looked like this...
i simmered them in the pine water for an hour!  they turned SO DARK!  a dark grey!  especially the pine one..  at the half hour point i put a small piece of alum mordanted fabric in there just to get a sample of the colour, cause i am assuming it's the pine & some iron mordant, maybe with the alum? that makes a grey dye?  i dont know..  i'm gonna have to do some experiments!
i forgot to take a picture of them though.  oops.
after an hour i just turned off the heat and left them in there overnight.  then i took them out, squeezed out the excess liquid and took them and put them on my front steps to dry out.  the pine one has kept its grey, but the leaf one is lightening up with a bit of more redish tinge to it..  i'm not sure how long it will take for them to dry out?  alas.
i think i will create a new number system for labeling my stuff this year..  in 2015 i did excellent notes and labeled everything.  last year i sucked and kept crappy notes and have things that are not labeled at all.. some things i know what they are, some i forget, some things have some sort of scribbled note pinned to them.. it's a mess.  this year i think i will try to be a bit more organized...  so i think these will be 2017-01 and 2017-02!
anyway..  enough blabbering.  i will remember to post the results later.  yay!~

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