Category Archives: Silk

My Garden List: Strawberry

Now when the Spring is close enough, it is time to get back to my garden, my true place of inspiration and enjoyment!

Located amidst the Southern Dunes, veiled in the spicy air of pine-tree forest.

That’s where I favoured the Natural dye-stuffs once and for all. And this is where my seasonal open-air batik and dyeing studio is situated.

Having been so much captivated by the process of printing with plant material on textiles I, however, learnt that the most of quite scarce available information on the subject features mainly plant material which is exotic for this area. And my creative process is strongly bound with that land of the Dunes, inspirationally and resource-wise.

So, following the concept of the local resource development, after sufficient familiarization with some exotic exponents, I got back to my trivial natural objects with renewed vigour to estimate their potential for my good.

– and who can learn enough about his local phenomena of the Nature! –  

My today’s List of the Day starts with Strawberry!    

That’s because I love it big time! Wild strawberry, both berries and leaves, are important ingredients for my herb tea recipe. And leaves from any type of strawberry are great for printing.

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For the test I took

  • strawberry leaves, nice ones
  • a plain piece of silk, no mordants used
  • a wooden stick to wind around
  • a brass pot

So, it is just strawberry leaves and silk, no mordants used before or after; simmered in the brass pot for about 2 hours and left for 10 days unopened.

Please, watch the results!

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These pictures do justice to the printed fabric sample, there both nice light-green areas alternating with distinct pink ones.

And can you see a heart pattern there! 

BTW, I am eating strawberries while writing!

Well, I can say that this one makes an excellent demo of Strawberry potential!

More entries to my Garden List on the way.

xo

xo

Весна подошла вплотную – самое время вернуться в свой сад!

cредь Южных дюн и соснового леса.

Здесь, в саду, моя сезонная батиковая мастерская; здесь работается как нигде хорошо, и здесь все ресурсы под рукой –прямо под ногами. Тут я обнаружила натуральные красители однажды, на них же и остановилась.

Веяние последних лет в области натурального – Эко Принт, процесс контактной экстракции натурального красителя прямо на окрашиваемую поверхность – на самом деле не так уж хорошо и подробно описан. Чаще всего в отношение Эко Принта встречаются упоминания экзотических растений, никакого отношения не имеющих к моей эко-системе. Это огорчает, потому что процесс контактной экстракции натурального красителя меня очень увлекает.

К слову, это определение получилось у меня на ходу. Надеюсь, теоретически мощно подкованные коллеги могут такое принять.

Этот самый процесс имеет столько переменных, просчитать достоверно которые невозможно и от которых драматически зависит итог крашения, и вероятно самый верный путь к его пониманию – это многократное повторение наибольшего количества вариантов, сделанное своими руками, на своих материалах, в своих специфических условиях, и т.д.

Собственно, уже имея определенное знание этого процесса, я и начала вести этот блог как некий дополнительный метод упорядочить свои результаты и поделиться тем, что уже знаю, с теми, кому это интересно.

Я твердо убеждена, что нужно в первую очередь знать и использовать свои местные ресурсы. Поэтому, вволю наработавшись с экзотическими материалами, я с двойной решимостью возвращаюсь к своим землякам, чтобы еще раз пройти по списку и обратить внимание на их потенциал.

Первой в списке выступает Клубника!

А также земляника, неотъемлемый ингредиент моего травяного чая.

В опыте участвуют: кусок натурального шелка, листья клубники, латунный таз и деревянная палочка, на которую наматывается образец, переложенный листьями; варю все около двух часов и не разматываю около 10 дней. Протравы никакие не применяю, Ph не меняю; вода дистиллированная.

Результаты – прошу обозреть фотографии выше. Должна сказать, что фото действительно близки к реальности: просто очаровательная комбинация светло-зеленого и розового. Каким-то образом сложился орнамент в виде сердечка! Это меня от души порадовало.

В следующих постах – далее по списку из моего сада.

А также, я продолжу редактировать предыдущие посты, добавляя часть на русском.

Приглашаю всех, кому интересна эта тема, к диалогу! Оставляйте, пожалуйста, свои комментарии, даже если это просто “спасибо” или “привет”!! 


The Time Factor: a Day versus Two Months

As we all are aware of the extreme importance of the Time in the dyeing process, an awfully generalized instruction ‘The longer the time, the better the results” is very often applied, especially by the newbies, to all stages of the process unquestioningly and with no doubts

Some novices are certain that the reason for not getting the right color and/or print is them having been impatient and not letting the roll of dyed fabric sit for too long…

Of course, Time and Temperature are the two key factors of the dyeing process!

But there are also such inputs, as fibers condition, plant material quality, mordants, length of bath after all… Though the last value is the least popular aspect I’d say… All these and quite a few other things may influence the outcome. 

Nevertheless, the question that I am asked more often is about Time! Specifically about that sort of the Time which, say, starts right after you take off your pot from the heat source and ends up when you open the dyed fabric.

To finally separate the wheat from the chaff and not to rely upon the random outcome, I decided to run a comparative test to see how the Curing Time affects the result of the dyeing process in terms of the color yield/intensity and the sharpness of the prints, if any. In this test I was going to estimate only the visible side of the deal, not dwelling upon the Colorfastness at this point.

Fabric: Two lengths of silk previously sandwiched in between rusty sheets of iron, sprinkled with vinegar and cured for up to one week.

Plant material:My local favs – Sumac, Cotinus, vine leaf, Prunus Padus, maple leaf.

Process: The fabric folded with plant material and steamed. One length was left overnight and opened the next day; the other was left for two months.

The Visual Part: the Fast and the Slow Piece

The Fast Piece

The Fast Piece

The Slow Piece

The Slow Piece

And here are some details of the Fast Piece:

Sumac Print in the Fast Piece

Sumac Print in the Fast Piece

Various Plant Material in the Fast Piece

Various Plant Material in the Fast Piece

An Outstanding Maple Leaf Print in the Fast Piece

An Outstanding Maple Leaf Print in the Fast Piece

The details of the Slow Piece:

Cotinus Print in the Slow Piece

Cotinus Print in the Slow Piece

Cotinus and Prunus Padus in the Slow Piece

Cotinus and Prunus Padus in the Slow Piece

Various Plant Material in the Slow Piece

Various Plant Material in the Slow Piece

Now as we see, there is a very distinct difference in these two pieces. Using my sight as the only measuring instrument assigned for this experiment, I can tell that

  • The background in the Fast Piece is whiter;
  • The background in the Slow Piece is more muted;
  • The multicolor palette achieved in the Fast Piece is bright and crisp;
  • The color combination in the Slow Piece is more of the earthy tones, yet clear and intense

Of course, I have just scratched the enormous area of the Time Factor in the Dyeing Practice, and to positively state any consistent pattern here one should have run numerous number of tests and experiments.

But at this point I come to conclusion that not only it is an illusion to believe that the longer curing time gives better results, there is NO universal recipe in terms of Time use;

Time is one of the variables of the dyeing process, altering which we can get varied results. 


Back to My Studio! Hurray!

I have just returned from an over a month long most fabulous car journey. And yet, it feels so great to be back HOME and  get down to work! 

With a minor break for the Winter Holidays, of course!

As much as I am overwhelmed with the current plans for my studio work, I’d like to turn to the nearest past and share some of my fresh experience, as posting on the way was hardly feasible, and I don’t wonna miss this one.

And not to forget, this is a DIARY, in no way a THESIS; the main idea here is to register facts from the Natural Dyeing practice my being just a humble apprentice in the ancient art of dyeing with the Nature. Although some of my findings might as well be  valuable for the fellow apprentices!

      Up in Lithuania with my dear friend Ina we had a dyeing session for which we used mostly local plants from the area with a small exception of  a few euca leaves from the sauna broom. For fabric, we took silk, cotton and cotton jersey.

The method  of the fabric pretreatment we used, is a part of the dyeing technique I developed for my batik works quite a few summers ago; which could very well add to the subject matter of an enthralling demonstration!

All was simmered for about 2 hours in the dye bath with the same plants we used for printing. The next day the bundles were unrolled first thing in the morning.

Gratifying is the fact that Celandine and Strawberry combination yielded a really bright, multi color print. And in comparison to the  effect we got from the euca leaves, the Celandine gave more complex and deep color. 

 

So far, Celandine (Chelidonium majus) holds its honorary position in my Preferences List of the local plants for yielding bright complex colors; although being a subject to further testing for wash-fastness.

 

Shown is the piece of  silk :

IMG_4572Celandine and StrawberryCelandine and Strawberry

 

 

 


Another Test. A Visual Review

Another piece tested for wash fastness. 

A silk top dyed in the same dye bath as the jersey top,

printed with same type dried euca leaves, tested in the washing machine with the mild detergent.

Approved!



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On a Windy Day. Take 1

Warm and sunny day when you thoroughly enjoy the gorgeous splendour of the Fall all of sudden turned into the windiest afternoon by the time I took my scarves outside to take pictures.

Needless to say, catching the moment of stability for the photo with the silk scarves floating in the wind  was a lot of fun and a heck of an exercise!

All the scarves were dry when the pics were taken.

No one was harmed in the this photo session!

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Однажды в ветреный полдень. Дубль 1.

Теплое и ласковое осеннее утро, когда так возможно предаваться неторопливому созерцанию величества осени, неожиданно обернулось самым ветреным полднем, как только я расположилась в саду для того, чтобы сделать снимки новых шарфов.

Само собой разумеется, пробовать поймать момент покоя шелкового шарфа, играющего на ветру – дело нескучное, веселое и спортивное!

Отмечу, что фотографии делались с уже хорошо высушенных шарфов.

В результате этой фотосессии никто не пострадал! 

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floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves

floating scarves


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