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.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

A Spot of Tea

"There is something about the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life."

Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living 

I am participating in an exhibition in May that is all about tea. Today I started the process to dye fabrics for this piece having no idea what the final project will look like. I am generally inspired by materials, so I figured the way to get started, was, well, make the materials for the piece! The first thing to decide was should the work just involve only traditional black tea. Depending on the strength of the tea, how long you expose the fabric, or what mordants/adjuncts are used, the possibilities are probably endless. People make tea out of many different leaves and flowers not only for enjoyment, but medicinal use as well. I decided to look through my tea cabinet to see what the other options might be.

In the event I want to use other colors besides "just tea" I gathered up bagged and loose teas that are also used in natural dyeing. After some research I decided to let them steep overnight to enhance (hopefully) the intensity of the colors. From left to right: Chamomile, St John's Wort, Comfrey, Hibiscus, Nettle.  I am only going to be dyeing fat quarter size pieces of silk broadcloth, so this should be plenty.

I also brewed up a medium size stock pot of plain old, very strong, black tea. This first go around I will be using a half yard of silk broadcloth treated with alum. I may do some sort of resists, various adjuncts, and vary the exposure time to get multiple tones. I have another untreated half yard reserved for other possibilities.