Notions-Drye Goods Studio Diary

Thanks for checking in. I am a fiber artist. My current emphasis is on eco printing and other wildcraft with a touch of up-cycling thrown in. You can also catch up with me on Facebook at Drye Goods Studio.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Don't be Sad!

In this case however, it may not be a bad thing. In natural dyeing there is a process called "saddening" and it can be an interesting experiment. I had some scarves that while they had nice clear prints, weren't all that exciting colorwise. I decided to do some dye experiments with them and ended up using the iron pot as an adjunct, or modifier. Exposing a previously dyed fiber to iron is called "saddening" as it grays out, or darkens the original color.

This is the dreaded Burdock, a monster of a plant. Since most plant names that end in "dock" belong to plants that will make some sort of color (usually yellow), I decided to give it a shot. I had to go to a fair so I left a note on it so nobody would over achieve with the weed killer while I was away. It is one of those invasive things that puts out a zillion seeds and can take over the yard in a blink of an eye.

I made a dye pot by first pouring boiling water over the leaves and let them sit overnight. The next day I simmered (not boiled) the leaves for about an hour. Boiling can sometimes make all your color disappear. 

As you can see, it made a yellow dye as expected. I blocked and tied the scarves in order to expose the previously done eco prints to as little heat and color as possible. Again, simmering, for about an hour. In this case I did not leave it to sit overnight as I didn't want the color to get very dark.

This is my iron pot. Normally there would be a picture of the above scarves bobbing around in it, but apparently I forgot to take that picture. So anyway, there is water with a splash of vinegar in the pot. I brought it to a boil and let it cool off completely and then added the blocked scarves. It took no time at all for the color change to take place, maybe 15 minutes. You have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too dark as then you won't be able to see your eco prints anymore.

This scarf turned a gray/green, it really added the right touch to what was a mass of brown prints.

This scarf had onion skin in it to begin with so the exposure to the iron made those a bit more golden and again the background is a subtle grayish green.

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