Cooking fabric ….

…. otherwise known as dyeing.   I used to dye fabric on a very regular basis when I worked mostly with batik methods.  It has been a long, long while since then.  In those days though I mostly used chemical dyes,  procion, which, whilst producing wonderfully vivid colours were not kindly to our environment.  Under the influence of India Flint I have been rediscovering the joy of messing about with colouring using nature to assist.  The results, thus far, are muted in tone and depth of colour.  I like this a lot.  I shall be experimenting further, surrounded out back as I am with loads of  ‘weeds’ etc., plenty of alkanet and nettles so am hoping for some delicate shades of reds and greens.  At this moment in time, conkers – in and out of husks, are bubbling away on the cooker top downstairs – for some reason they make an amazing array of bubbles ………

The clipping, tying, bundling of cloth to effect patterns needs refining somewhat – tis early days.  Results so far:

These pieces of cotton and linen are much pinker than they appear on screen – done with avocado skins and stones and a fruit vinegar mordant:

Silk cooked in turkish tea with fruit vinegar mordant:

and linen and cotton:

and cotton showing a little bit of tying which worked:

Silk cooked in the tea, this time  with copper mordant (I wrapped the silk around some copper discs I have):

Just to show the contrast: left with copper, right with fruit mordants:

Finally, this little lot are a mixture of cotton and linen, wrapped around bits of copper sitting in the tea – I had heated and steeped them for some time on the stove before cooling and deciding to leave them in a jar outside for about a couple of weeks now I think :

I will bring them in soon as the sun has not made much of an appearance for a while now – so any chance of solar heating has gone methinks.


About Jill An artist inspired by nature in all her glorious guises and the ‘inner’ worlds I have inhabited in the past, present and future; also those of other wanderers I meet along the way.
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11 Responses to Cooking fabric ….

  1. Lori says:

    The colors of nature are far more beautiful, in my opinion, than any human-made shade. Beautiful, Jill!

  2. June says:

    An interesting post,makes me think of cooking fabric with mango – is that possible….

    • Jill says:

      thanks June – as for mango, i can’t see any good reason why not – i would certainly give it a go – i am going to try all sorts.

  3. Linda D. says:

    Mmm looks like you’ve had loads of fun 🙂 The results are wonderful, lovely hues. What I want to know, though, was the Turkish tea nice (without the fabric, of course, lol!!)?

    • Jill says:

      it is very strong lol – i still have some pomegranate tea which i haven’t yet tried, but for colouring i doubt it will be any different 🙂

  4. anita marie says:

    I am in awe – being able to create things like this just leaves me speechless

  5. It is fascinating to know just what is involved in the whole process. Have never really thought about fabric being cooked up but it makes perfect sense.

  6. India flint says:

    nature’s gentle magic at work…lovely

  7. coleenfranks says:

    I like this idea Jill, sun tea dye. I’m going to try it with parchment paper for my map. Read about it on a map site.

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