Beachcombing for eco dyeing

February 22, 2016 at 11:36 pm 1 comment

Our dog loves a walk on the beach and lately there has been a lot of seaweed washing up.

I decided to have a go at some eco dyeing following a suggestion by India Flint to try using seawater as a mordant.

I took some pieces of silk and linen down with me to dunk in the sea and collected a little of the many varieties of seaweed that had washed up on the beach. I found the best imprint were from the less fleshy types. I also bundled up some of the cards I had received from India from her latest project.

I decided to try steaming the bundles for an hour or two first (just using boiled water in the bottom of the pot) and then left the bundles (but not the paper one) sitting in the dye water overnight. I also used an old bolt tied into one of the bundles which may have helped to strengthen the result.

The effects were some great prints and textures, and a distinctly sea smell. Some of these will be finding their way into a book I am making for the ATASDA annual exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney in May.

Wrapped sea parcels

Wrapped sea parcels

From the sea

From the sea



Bolt marks and the more subtle reverse

Bolt marks and the more subtle reverse


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. maggi  |  February 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Impressive results. How good that you got the bonus of the evocative sea smell too.


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