Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Natural dyeing cotton fabric

I challenged myself to natural dye with cotton this past weekend. I'm trying to learn the secret. Wool grabs and holds the dyes so beautifully and cotton is a challenge. I started a week ahead mordanting the fabrics. First a drive along country roads to pick sumac leaves to began the first mordant. I simmered the leaves in water, then soaked the fabric in the solution for a few days. Next step, mordant with aluminum acetate, simmered altogether in water for 24 hours. Take out, add a little more alum and simmer again.. The final mordant step is to add the fabric to wheat bran water. I left it in that solution for a few days until I dyed the fabrics.  

Some friends came over Saturday and the fun began. We all had hand-carved wooden stamps and hand-made copper stamps, also a few modern stamps to share.
Working with different natural resists we played with printing the fabrics.

My grandson began stamping with natural henna mixed up with soy powder, lemon juice and water. A bit of practice and I began.

I dyed this piece with cochineal then stamped the design on.

I love the old look with henna designs.

The fabric first dyed with Osage orange bark, then stamped the design in with wooden stamps.

The cotton really grabbed the Osage orange dye.

Cochineal dyed fabric, stamped and over dyed with indigo.

Osage orange dyed, stamped with wooden stamp, and over dyed with indigo.

Thank you for my stamp, Deb C.!

This piece was stamped with a clear resist on white cotton, then over dyed in indigo.

Clear resist in indigo.

My collection of cottons after washed and dried.

A lot of indigo was used last weekend! Yards and yards of cotton by Windi and Becky.

Some with shibori.

Indigo everywhere!!!

Even the skies were indigo.

Ok, we did play with a little wool. Kay tightly twisted  21/2 yards of wool, and soaked it in the indigo pot. It came out beautiful. She's going to layer it and have it machine quilted.

She also played with different plastic resists.

I made this wool Sun piece. Beginning of an eclipse block?!?

Windi over dyed some of her indigo with cochineal.

Becky began dyeing wool blocks for a someday quilt. She dyed many more during the weekend.


Vicky said...

I love the Osage orange dyed, stamped with wooden stamp, and over dyed with indigo! It made such a beautiful green.

Peggy said...

Spectacular results, Kathy!!! Each and every piece is absolutely gorgeous -- worth every step of mordanting the cotton, I'd say. You must be flying high with all that color. Love, love, love! xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

WOW! That is a lot of fabric made beautiful!!! It was fun to see the progress with each. Your collection of hand dyed fabrics looks great, will be a fun wait to see what you decide to make with it. I agree, the wool takes the color so much better. What a beautiful piece of Kays, I am sure it will be spectacular, whatever she does to it! See you soon....Deb C

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