Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Friday, August 14, 2015

it's a good day to dye

Experimental dyeing with tansy:

They're not quite dry and still a little blotchy.

I think I'm most excited about two in the middle, especially the lemon-yellow linen with an alum mordant and tin afterdip (third from left at the top), and the dark gray (looks black in the photo) cotton jersey with alum and an iron afterdip (fourth from the left at the top). Note to self: Iron darkens everything and tin brightens everything.

Also, the cotton jersey took the dye surprisingly well. I've always heard that cotton doesn't take natural dyes well at all, and my first dyeing experiments with your standard white Gildan t-shirts didn't really work...but this is Alabama Chanin jersey, so maybe the fact that it's organic had something to do with it. (It is awfully soft.)

I actually love the dark gray so much that I'm dyeing up an AC remnant with the tansy/iron mix right now. I hope there's enough to make a t-shirt.

Also, I'm messing around with swatches in part to prepare for a natural dyeing workshop I'm giving at the Peabody Essex Museum in January or February. Super-excited about that -- it's for all ages, and if I can get little kids (and their parents) excited about plants and/or textiles, I'll be happy.

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