Monday, July 25, 2011

Dyeing Silk Scarves

I took a natural dyeing class at the Herb Conference, this was our instructor Anna, her and her husband just retired 2 weeks before, selling all their greenhouses, home and almost everything else they owned. They are now moving to Hawaii to build a new house and start a new life. She was a really sweet lady and I learned some new dyeing tricks.

We each were given 3 silk scarves to bundle with dried herbs. Look at our selection. Although some of these you don't get much color with.


And still more. I tried different herbs I don't normally use.

OK, instead of premordanting the silk with alum, we laid out the scarf, sprinkled on the herbs and then wrapped the scarf with different wires. This scarf has dried carrot powder, annantto seed and steel be bees wrapped up with steel wire. Then I placed it in a zip lock bag with white vinegar. I let all the scarves soak for a week in their own bags before washing them.

This scarf has dried kelp and St. Johns wort wrapped with copper wire, in a solution of balsamic vinegar. Using copper gives green tones.

The last one is barberry and dried hibiscus flower with copper wire and soaked in balsamic vinegar.

After a week I rinsed them out, left to right: kelp and St. Johns Wort, next barberry and hibiscus and the last one that I wasn't too excited about but turned out beautiful is the one wrapped with carrot powder, annantto and steel be bees. This was a fun workshop but I wouldn't use the wires on my wool, on one of the scarves the copper wire with vinegar ate away the silk. I would be afraid to use the wool fabric dyed this way in a quilt.

Back to the Dow Home we toured while at the conference, this is a little side entrance with it's own little garden.

Mrs. Dow had her own beautiful beautiful sewing room which now serves as a library. This silk quilt was on the master bed, I don't know if she made it or it was purchased as she had beautiful antiques and art from all over the world. This is a silk whole cloth quilt with hand sewed oriental trapunto (stuffed & stitched) designs.

Another design on the quilt.

This is a needle pointed stool in the sewing room. It was well used.

And in a guest room were two beds with hand crocheted spreads with a trapunto "D" hand monogrammed in the center.


They had a lot of beautiful paintings, this one hung in one of the living rooms. I love this, the woman and girl are knitting while at the sea shore and the little boy is playing with a boat.
(Veronica this would be you)


Deb H said...

It sounds like you were acid dying with natural dyes! Isn't it funny that I never thought about it, but vinegar is a weak acid.

Melodie said...

I love the silks! (They make some interesting looking worms in the early stages.) I wouldn't like holes in the finished product either!! Silks in quilts makes me nervous anyway. They're beautiful but I wouldn't think they'd wear well. (I do allot of kids quilts.) That house is gorgeous!! I think I must have lived in one like that in my former life. I have a real attachment for them. Hackley's, Hume's and any of the Newport cottages!!

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