This time, a little more about dyes and dyeing at the Spring Sewing Circle. In the main street of Mansfield, there was a great two colour display of pansies. I am not sure what the passersby made of me deadheading the purple pansies… I suspect no one noticed from their car. I took them along to the day’s sewing circle with me after they had spent a night in the freezer and this produced an impromptu class in dye chemistry from India.
Once a selection from the three kinds of water available had been made, I tucked the remainder of the blooms into some raw silk (the pocket bag from an op shop suit).
Into a clean yoghurt tub they went with some silk thread.
The colour got bluer…
Overnight it became turquoise.
It came home in my bags, and surprise! The water at home really does have the capacity to create greens. My last experience of this was not an accident or a one off. Thread that had been quite blue and fabric that had been purple and blue went green immediately on rinsing. I’m not complaining–these are great colours!
There were many incidental marvellings at the beauty of plants and fabrics…
I had a lesson in mordants I hadn’t used before, and some help with my issues with milk. Very exciting. Sure to lead to all manner of future experiments.
I had an unexpected visit to a laundrette (laundromat?) on the day I left home, and found one just doors from a rather good op shop that benefits Medecins Sans Frontieres. I spent the time my quilt was washing there and scored a long sleeved t shirt, which was the subject of these experiments. Greens… oranges… iron…
Using this technique for all-over colour and pattern is something I notice others doing to great effect but often don’t attempt. I’ve realised that when buying fabric I tend to plain colours or picture prints, and evidently I have carried this over into my own dyeing. Workshops are for learning so I tried stepping away from my habits a bit. It’s interesting to observe how entrenched some of my habits are.
The back of the t shirt. These last two photos show the garment laundered and dry.
For those who can’t resist the idea of pictures of food… picture this as afternoon tea! Extraordinary. India turns out to have the kind of fine cooking skills capable of making everything delectable. She also has the capacity to turn a few ingredients that might be mere sustenance in other hands (I am not knocking sustenance) into something irresistibly delicious. Macaroni and cheese much better than a restaurant meal. Just saying. We have an onion, garlic and dairy free household and India was kind enough to load me up with garlic and butter and other fabulous things we can’t share at home for the duration. Such happy pleasures for me and such generosity and skill from her.
8 responses to “Spring Sewing Circle 2”
OMG those colours! I am not sure that my water would yield green, but blue would be just fine. Off to the nursery for purple pansies.
Blue is a pretty lovely colour! India Flint calls this method ‘ice flower dyeing’. Genius. And very easy, once you have the flowers. 🙂
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I have her books so I’ll check out the process before I get stuck in.
I love those books. But have been very interested by learning yet more in person. I think of myself as a book learner–so this is god to recognise! The description in the book is concise but I got wonderful results first time, The steps are really straightforward. Water magic, on the other hand, can surprise you. Wishing you luck!
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now the rinse water … oh, that’s very interesting … do you know what is in your water?
You know, I could guess, but I don’t know for sure. But you’re right, it’s very interesting!
Remember this for spring pansy hunts!