Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Eco printing/dyeing - some thoughts



Recently I have been slightly disappointed with the results of my eco printing especially compared to many of the results I have seen on fb and other blogs where the results are amazing with beautiful colours and prints. It seems many practitioners are now using iron blankets, iron water or ferrous sulphate. I am not criticising the use of these I am partial to using a little iron water now and again.  However I am not sure that I would want to use these in my practice when I am dyeing a wearable item, which is the direction I am moving towards. I wouldn't want to wear something against my skin that had been in contact with iron.
I guess I will to have keep to my subtle colours, which I do like, or move to Australia.
If there is anybody out there who achieves amazing prints and colours without using anything other than plant material I would love to know your secrets.

14 comments:

  1. I'm going to make sure Kathyinozarks sees this post. She does a lot of natural dyeing. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, she follows my blog and now I follow hers. She does use alum though which I don't. I learnt from India Flint and she is a purist. The only mordant I use is soy milk for non protein fabrics.

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  2. These colours look beautiful to me. I guess we are on our own journey though, and only the artist knows what outcome she wishes to achieve. If want a deeper colour, would you just use more of the plant to achieve this and less water? Or longer soaking time? I am new to all this as well. India Flint's book on Eco dyes is helpful, if you have seen it. But again, these subtle colours are so gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Louise, yes I suspect more experimenting is what I need and I think as I get older my hands don't work so well with getting the bundles tight enough, close contact makes a lot of difference. Its not that I don't like the subtle colours just sometimes it would be good to get more colourful results. I was lucky enough to attend one of Indi Flint's courses, she is an amazing woman and teacher, I must re read her book.

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  3. love your soft subtle colours!

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    1. Thanks Mo, love your latest pieces.

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  4. Trial and error can work... most artists go through it and always find some sort of answer.
    best wishes...

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    1. Yes I think that is the answer, it usually is, I think maybe I have been taking less time and care. Also these are on cotton and silk always works better.

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  5. Let me in on it if you find someone who talks. ;-)

    Cotton is tricky.

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  6. Hi,

    the all secrets about eco printing have to do with the reaction between acid Low Ph and base Hight Ph...so starting from this point you can prepare your cloth well clean in a mixture of fire ash and water( and there again the choose of what is burned is important )and dry plants who were rehydrate in vinager. After the buddle leave it without open for a week. fermentation of plants produve itself a reaction wich fix the colours. Hope those new idees helps you all

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    1. Hi Nathalie, somehow I missed you comment, thank you very helpful information.

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  7. Can you tell me how I mix up fire ash with water. What quantities. I'd be grateful for any information. Thanks

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    1. Hi Marg, I haven't really experimented with wood ash I would suggest you go to Jenny Dean's website, she covers wood ash here not sure if this will work as a link http://www.jennydean.co.uk/index.php/anglo-saxon-dye-experiments-part-2/

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    2. Debbie, thank you for such a quick reply. Yes the link to Jenny's website worked. I'll have a look and see what I can find. I'm currently living in Laos and trying to experiment with local plants. I don't yet have access to the alum I would "at home" so was interested in finding out more about wood ash as mordant.

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