Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Solar dying

I had to laugh when I saw these jars filled with fabric, the last time I used the jars was when I canned fruits and vegetables. Well, enough of that. I saw on http://riihivilla.blogspot.com/ (a wonderful natural dyer in Finland) that she solar dyes, layering the dye stuff and wool yarn. Check out her blog and be sure to go back to the June 21 blog where she begins to tell about solar dying. I tried a few jars last Thursday. The jars are layered with (premordanted alum and cr. of tarter) wool fabric, The one on the left I pushed some of the fabric in and added some annatto seeds (orange color), a little more fabric then osage orange wood shavings (gold color) and then another layer of the annatto seeds. The next jar is layered cochineal (red), osage orange and the top layer is chopped up madder root (rusty red). After I layer the jars I poured simmering hot rain water over the top and capped them.

The next morning the madder root and cochineal jar was beginning to work. I hope the fabric turns out with a layered look.

Four days later after sitting in the hot sun and adding a teaspoon of washing soda to the annatto (nothing was happening until I added the soda and then magic!!). The fabric is becoming darker and darker. I'll probably leave the fabric in the jars until the weekend then rinse it out. I'm trying not to move the jars and disturb the colors.

Last Friday my husband and I packed up the camper and our fishing boat and went north for a long weekend. Michigan has so many beautiful inland lakes and if your lucky a pair of loons on the lake. We spent our days on the lake, my husband fishing while I quilted and took pictures.

The water lilys were in full bloom, which I added to my turtle, frog, snake block (forgot to take a picture of it).

A pair of looms, they have the most wonderful haunting call. Every evening and early morning you can hear them.

Usually loons are very shy and when you boat up to them they dive under the water and reappear a long way away. I was happy we got so close to this pair.

And overhead was a bald eagle fishing. (a little fuzzy).

And on every fallen log in the waters of Michigan we have turtles sunning themselves.

On our way north we went by my husbands grandparents home where his mother was raised. This will be the next house in my family tree quilt. And along side the house will be the little outhouse they had.

One note on my fabric soaking in the birch bark water. It was looking great after a week, then I decided to simmer the bark and water and add the fabric to see if would become a darker peacy/yellow. Well, that was a bad idea, it became a dull tan. I think the heat made to much tannin in the water. So tonight I will start over with soaking the fabric in the bark just out in the sun.


Deb H said...

They look pickled in those jars! Such pretty colors. I doubt we are getting enough sun at our house this summer to even bother trying this. the clouds seem to be magnatized to the mountains, so even if the sun is shining in town, it's cloudy here lately.

I miss the scent of those water lilies. I wish I could buy it in a bottle!

Chez said...

I would love to use your photos of solar dyeing on my website www.allnaturaldyeing.com if possible. I would of course give credit to you as photographer and point the article towards your blog.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo