Hello friends......I am feeling extra peppy today because the bay breezes have kicked in after all the heat we've been having - windows all flung open and I hear the wind chimes. It's lovely! I am not a hot weather gal which makes me sluggish and sometimes even.......crabby. BohoHandyman knows this about me so any fits of crabbiness are merely a manifestation of the heat....not him.
I did some experimenting with dyeing pre-washed white cotton sheeting fabric yesterday.......I have not done this before therefore I use the word "experimenting" and it turned out to be a good lesson of what to do, not to do and what I have to learn. You see I want to learn to use natural elements and even rust to dye fabric and manipulate it how I want it.
I began by boiling salted water (I used kosher salt)
Once that was done I drained the water and when cool enough wrung it out (but did not rinse) the fabric.
So here it goes............I decided to use 3 different things to dye with that I had read about (remember I have never done this before). I do not have stainless steels pots so I ended up using stainless steel mixing bowls on the stove which may or may not have been the best vessel but it worked ok.
I started with Turmeric
I brought it to a boil then added the fabric in and let it simmer on low for quite a while. But I blew it in that there ended up being too much of the Turmeric and not enough water so it came out gritty. Realizing this too late of course.
I also took some of the "dye" out and put it in a smaller bowl adding a tiny bit of vinegar to it. I had read it changes the PH so you may get a different color.
So then I had 2 cans of beets (purchased for this purpose). Here is where I really made a mistake.
The mashed beets stuck on and around the fabric - the color was vibrant but I ended up having to really rinse it all off thus removing the color. What the heck was I thinking? In my defense....well there is none...it was just a bad idea.
So I took some of the juice and added it to the small bowl with the Turmeric in it hoping I might get orange.........well not so much....just a bit of mottling.
So on to the final item I bought..........unsweetened Kool Aid packets....cherry.
I let it boil and dissolve then added the fabric, letting it simmer.
So here's thing with the Kool Aid. The fabric I am dyeing will be used for fabric art that will neither be worn nor laundered therefore I don't have to rinse it thoroughly....or worry about color fastness. I just let it steep and when I took it off the stove let it cool enough to handle, rinsed any residue quickly and just wrung it out.
Here are the results of the fabric pieces I dyed. The various yellows are from the turmeric, turmeric with vinegar and a bit of beet juice in the turmeric. As I stated above I blew it with too much of the turmeric vs amount of water so when the fabric was removed it was covered in grit that I had to throughly rinse out. What I should have done was poor it through a very fine mesh strainer before putting the fabric in it. You can see none of them are a flat color but mottled with dark and light hues. The beauty is "who cares?" Right? It's art..... and me.......I don't care much for perfect!
The photos were taken in the sun and I did not adjust any brightness or contrast.
All of the pieces need a good ironing.......hmmm, or maybe not.
So being the "jump right in" gal that I am did not use gloves.......bad idea. You see the palms of my hands are stained from the Koolaid and my nails are yellow from the turmeric. It's slowly fading and I WAS going to show them but woweeeee my fingers look like sausages in pictures. Yes I said pictures.....of course not in real life......isn't it odd how that happens? *wink wink* I think a gremlin gets inside the camera lens and forces it to lie. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I am ordering a book on dyeing with natural plants and veggies and whatever else so I will be experimenting more and more. As well as painting fabric. I hope to have some fabric art to share very soon.
I hope you've all had a great week and will have a great weekend!