Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eco-Colour Dyeing

I've been eco dyeing these last few days. Eco-Colour is a book by India Flint and I highly recommend it to anyone who is remotely interested in natural and sustainable dyeing! My studio smells of eucalyptus with hints of vinegar, tea, and sage. Actually very pleasant and calming.

My plan before my eye issues was to be in Missouri now visiting my folks and friends. I would be anticipating taking a four day workshop next week with India Flint. Since I can't be there I have taken it upon myself to attempt the eco-dyeing using her book as my guide. I realize I am not a good book learner. I get so much more from kinetic hands on learning, BUT I am encouraged by my first attempts which I am posting here.

This is a scarf length of silk noil in which I used 3 kinds of eucalyptus leaves and sprinkled with tea. I laid the leaves on half the length of cloth, sprinkled dry black tea on top and folded the fabric length in half on top. I sprayed with vinegar water and rolled into the sausage bundle India describes in her book and then I steamed it for the recommended amount of time. I then let it set in a plastic bag for a couple of days and unwrapped it today. I am in love with the soft and subtleness of the colors.

This was a sample I did with the steam setting "hot bundle" method of ceanothus using the leaves and flowers on the stem.

Some of the bundles I made need to cure for a couple of weeks and as anxious as I am to open them (just like a little kid with no patience) I am restraining myself.

I've cut lots of flora from my property to use in sample dyeing with this method:


Rattlesnake Grass

French Broom

Spanish Broom


Monkey Flower

Elderberry with flowers and berries just starting. Will gather more when the berries ripen and change color if I can beat the birds to them.


What I know as Yerba Santa

The above photo is what I've known as Yerba Santa and what is depicted in the Western Garden Book. I see this as the same plant on some websites known as Yerba Santa but some websites say the photo of the below plant is Yerba Santa. Is is more sage like, it even smells like sage and the leaves are fuzzy like sage plants. Do you know what this plant is?

Here's a photo of the two next to each other:

For those who care to know, I had my eye exam today and got a good report. The doctor actually said I was perfect but then she wouldn't put that down in writing. lol! I still have months to heal back to normal but I'm on the right track and it's all good.

Also remember you have 10 days to pre-order Altered Couture's Autumn issue in which I have a feature article for the $2.00 off and free shipping! Go here to order your copy.


Jomama said...

Very cool process. Thanks for sharing photos.

jo said...

great results - I love the use of the dry tea - if you don't mind, I will give that a go myself when next steaming

Angie in AZ said...

Beautiful! And we need to be together because I've been experimenting too... mostly with rust. I have some gorgeous pieces! I tried some spices and beets but vinegar didn't set those. Does she say, in the book, what to add to get beets to set? I have several bunches in my refrigerator waiting to dye fabric!

Can't wait to see you in less than 2 months!!!!!

lilylovekin said...

So happy to hear about the good report on your eyes. I'm so glad they are doing well.

Joanne Huffman said...

Great news about your eyes! Beautiful soft and subtle dying. I plan to order the magazine when I get back home on Thursday.

Yvette said...

nice and interesting to share, I googled on yerba and at pictures I think that there are several kinds of one family. Pity you could'nd
follow India Flints workshop.