Monday, January 10, 2011

EcoDyed Paper

Its that time of year again... the annual Qld Spinners Weavers and Fibre Artists' Cookup.  Over 4 days a group of dedicated paper-obsessed groupies converge at Fibrecraft House to do 'all things paper' - cooking plant fibre, making paper, rusting, decorating paper and other paper-based activities. 

This year I led a session on EcoDyed Paper, based on a technique I learnt from India Flint in September.  Subsequent experiments at home revealed that I could dye the paper without having to sew silk onto it first.  I have an aversion to hand sewing, thus skipping this step was quite a relief for me!

The results at the Cookup session were fantastic - the colours and marks came up beautifully using onion skins, metal objects, black grape skin, and eucalypt leaves, amongst other things.  The girls were so surprised that such success could be achieved without chemicals. 

We had exceptional outcomes using Micador Raines Watercolour paper - 300gsm with very little sizing - it soaked up the colours in the dye bath beautifully.  Not surprisingly we cleared the shelves of Raines paper at Oxlades that same afternoon!

Keep a look out on my blog for more photos, as I continue with my dyeing experiments.

The bundles ready to dye -
we ran out of paddle pop sticks
due to enthusiastic bundling

Bundles coming out of the dye pot - note the rich 'black' brew!


  1. Wow I love the idea of eco dye for paper...... looking forward to seeing some more of your pics!

  2. HixDo you just add leaves. rusty tins ect to paper,tieand than put them in dye bath? I have mananged to get some good leaf prints when steaming the paper.Look forward to seeintg the results.l am lucky enough to be travelling from London to Switzerland in a few months time, to do one of Inda's excitedx lynda
    and photography blog

  3. Unfortunetly because of family problems, l am now unable to go to Switzerland and do In dia's workshop. Really gutted but my family need me and that is what being a mum and wife is all about in my books. How did you dye the paper and what plant dye did you use..if that is not too cheeky to ask?xxlynda

  4. it's always amusing to wander the virtual whirled and see what folks have been up great aunt pioneered plant prints on paper but [being much more patient than me] her method didn't involve a boiling dyepot. and for the record, Sandra, stitching cloth onto paper helps when the paper is fragile recycled you may recall we weren't using watercolour paper in the 'fieldwork' class!