Saturday, November 20, 2010
I convinced Mum that she didn't need her aluminium pot anymore and I was ready to start.
Following the instructions in India's book Eco Colour, I pre-mordanted my cotton blouse using a traditional Japanese mordant technique to help the cellulose fibres to accept the dye.
I then 'rested' my blouse for a few weeks (ie I got distracted by other stuff including my day job) before bundling with leaves and simmering, then letting it sit in the cold dye bath for a week before finally giving up to temptation and unravelling my bundle.
The colours are subdued but rich and earthy. Yellows, oranges and browns abound with shibori markings from the rubber bands and string used to tie the bundle.
Whilst I still need more practice to get clear leaf prints, I am extremely happy with my first solo attempt. Today a pre-mordanted linen blouse (bought for $5 at an op shop) has been popped into the black brew for another week of waiting, waiting, waiting until I can reveal the wonder of eco-dyeing again.
Eco-dyeing feels so gentle and natural and the eucalyptus smell in the house is beautiful. It fits perfectly with my passion for the natural world. I also like the idea of 'slow dyeing' where the process is not rushed, it takes it time to brew and work its magic. The opposite to our frantic lifestyles today!
Thanks India again for your inspiration and guidance.
Posted by Sandra Pearce, Visual Artist