nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘dyeing

harvesting colour – more colour from the pickle jar

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One more dyeing project with the pickle jar!  I am growing impatient, waiting for the growing season to begin so I can collect plants for my dyeing projects.  So, I looked around my house and decided to use some of the various jars of rose petals and other flowers I have dried over the years.

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a jar of rose petals and other flowers from a saved bouquet

a jar of rose petals and other flowers from a saved bouquet (the fabric is the silk I intend to dye)

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For fabric, I decided to use the square of silk I purchased for the project back in February.  From my reading, I know that silk accepts dye very well and responds well to an acidic dye bath.

First I soaked the silk in tepid water to prepare the fibres to accept the dye.  I decided this fabric has already been prepared with mordant.  If not, I can always add the mordant later.

Then I spread the petals on the fabric, spraying as I went with a weak solution of cider vinegar.

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rose petals, scattered on the silk

rose petals, scattered on the silk

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I added some other dried flower petals from another bouquet.  Then I rolled the fabric and petals very tightly.

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a roll of silk and flower petals, sprayed with vinegar and ready for the pickle jar

a roll of silk and flower petals, sprayed with vinegar and ready for the pickle jar

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As with my last project ( https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/harvesting-colour-onion-yellow/ ), I had trouble stuffing the roll into the jar.  Once I had the silk crammed into the jar, I added more vinegar solution to the jar and closed it.

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pickle jar stuffed with silk, rose petals and other dried flowers

pickle jar stuffed with silk, rose petals and other dried flowers

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And now we wait …

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

April 11, 2014 at 7:29 am

harvesting colour – memorable colour

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I am starting to think about some of the colours I hope to capture in my dyeing projects.  In my reading I have discovered that plant colours come from three groups of plant pigments:

  • the porphyrins – includes chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that enables photosynthesis to occur
  • the carotenoids – includes the yellows of carrots and the red lycopene of tomatoes
  • the flavonoids – the yellows of flower petals and the red, blue and purple anthocyanins of strawberries and blueberries

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In my poems, I want to portray these colours with words.  A quick look in the thesaurus shows how many words we have for the various colours:

  • green: emerald, sage, verdigris, malachite, beryl, aquamarine, chartreuse, lime, olive …
  • yellow: ivory, lemon, saffron, gold, sallow, buff …
  • red: scarlet, carmine, vermillion, crimson, ruby, garnet, maroon, brick, rust …
  • blue: azure, phthalo, cerulean, indigo, sapphire, turquoise, watchet, navy, teal …
  • purple: lilac, violet, mauve, magenta, heliotrope, plum, lavender …

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Copyright 2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 21, 2014 at 7:06 am

harvesting colour – onion skins in a pickle jar

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According to India Flint (Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles, Interweave Press, 2010) the principal ingredient in any natural dyeing project is time (and patience).  Now, while I am still getting organized, I have decided to begin with a simple project that can take all the time it needs.

I have chosen a cotton shirt for this project.  I wore it for a couple of years and loved its iridescent buttons, rows of ruffles and embroidered details.  Then it became stained and I put it away.

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my 100% cotton shirt

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Today, I scattered the onion skins I have saved across its surface – some from Yellow Onions and some from Red Onions.  As I worked, I sprayed apple cider vinegar to wet the fabric.  Then I rolled it up tightly and poked it into a big pickle jar.  For at least a month, I will leave the jar to sit on my window sill and cook in the sun.  If it starts to grow mold, I am going to stuff it in the freezer.  The biggest challenge was getting all that material to fit in the jar!

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materials for my onion skin dyeing project – the platter is so you cannot see my messy kitchen …

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all I can say is ‘yum’ …

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If you hear of a smelly house for sale in rural New Brunswick, you will know something went terribly wrong.  I will show you the results, as well as the poem this generates, in about a month’s time …

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detail of the machine embroidery on my cotton shirt

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Copyright  2014   Jane Tims  

Written by jane tims

February 21, 2014 at 7:49 am

harvesting colour – the formula for colour

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My first effort towards my project is to understand what materials I will need.  From my early reading, I have learned the end colour for any project using natural dyes is much more than just adding plant material to water.  A final colour is the result of so many factors.

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My simple formula for this complex symphony is:

final colour = source water + utensils + plant material (dyestuff) + mordent + colour modifier + textile fibre 

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No doubt, I will discover I have omitted some important element.

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In my next posts, I will consider each of these elements and talk about the specific items I intend to use.

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For example, I will need some textile fibre to dye.  My intention is to dye small amounts of material for use in various weaving projects.  In my weaving, I use both thread and strips of textiles.

At this early stage, I have three materials I want to dye.  I have a small quantity of unspun fleece obtained a couple of years ago during our trip to Upper Canada Village in Ontario.  I also have three old cotton shirts – I loved to wear these before they became stained – perhaps I will wear them again, repurposed in rainbow colour!  And I have just purchased a meter of white silk (at $37 per meter, it is a splurge!).   I will have to do some preparatory cleaning to each of these materials before I use them in my dyeing projects.

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some materials for dyeing … a meter of silk, three shirts, and a bundle of unspun wool … the shirts have already seen their share of accidental dyeing !!!

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Behind the scenes, I am finding poetic inspiration as I learn this craft of dyeing.  Eventually I will be brave enough to show my poems to you.

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Copyright  2014   Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 17, 2014 at 6:59 am

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