Eco print and dye

January 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

While pottering around the shed finishing up some GeeTAG postcards, I decided to clean up and used some silk wedding offcuts I discovered for a spot of eco dyeing. I had a container of water that I had soaked some seaweed in to get rid of the sand so I added that to the pot with extra tap water- still waiting for the water tank to be installed- and some nuts and bolts. The first batch used prunus, sheoak, feijoa and melaleuca leaves and were tightly wrapped and tied with silk thread around some dried bamboo sticks foraged from the garden and a metal tine that had snapped off my garden fork. This was brought to a simmer for 1-2 hours then left to cool in the pot overnight. The metal tine was great on top to keep everything submerged.


Second from the left are some linen offcuts from an Op Shop dress I am refashioning before eco-dyeing. The experimentation is to check the effects before dyeing the whole dress. The dress I bought was many sizes too big so I removed the sleeves and used the top of the sleeves to make armhole facings, added darts as well as taking in the side seams and cutting 12 inches off the bottom.

Here are the results of the first cooking:


Silk around metal tine


More wedding silk offcuts


And the linen-more subtle with lines from the sheoak:


For the dress I think I will try a pre-mordant in soy, eucalyptus bath and adding some alum to brighten.

The second cook up resulted in darker colour out of the pot:


The wrapping was again with the bamboo sticks and metal tine but using red onion skins, rose and prunus leaves.

Much stronger patterning on the wedding silk:


close up



The linen sleeve:


and a fine silk loom end:


For all these I have laid out the organic material on half the fabric then folded over, rolled and tied. You can see this side by side here but one is the right side and the other the wrong (not mirror image) so it gave great prints on both sides of this quite thin silk.The lime green is the rose leaves-fresh from the bush- this was from my large weeping crepuscule rose.

The darker areas were the outside of the rolls where you can see the imprint of the wrapping threads.

I quite often cut up these dyed scraps to use for lots of different projects. I have been searching for a thin woollen blanket at Op shops for a while to layer and hand stitch  my pieces onto to create a warm throw.

I am hoping to dye the dress next week, 36C here tomorrow so not a good day to be steaming up the shed/studio. We will be watching the fire reports just in case.



Entry filed under: Dyeing, Eco printing, Natural dyeing, up-cycling.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Xmas Hip Hip Decay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


January 2017

Notebook Project

%d bloggers like this: