Tag Archives: Mordant

Strawberry on a Rock!

More on regionalism: The local resources for Natural Dyeing. Not just plants!

I live close enough to the sea which is very handy for my beach treasure hunting.

Rocks are among my sea shore favs, nicely colored and shaped. I enjoy arranging them into enigmatic constructions among my plants in the garden. Rocks are also quite handy when I need to press down the edge of an art work, or such. Also, they work great as resists in shibori.

This time I remembered that rocks can contain a great deal of metal ores, some of them do. And being neither mineralogist, nor petrologist, I yet decided to give it a try and see if I could get any mordants acting directly from the rocks themselves, In addition to their mechanical resist properties in dyeing.

01astr

  • So, I chose a couple of rocks nicely colored guessing that those might work better; 
  • I took silk and cotton fabrics, just washed, no mordants;
  • Strawberry leaves;
  • Two vessels: a neutral pot (glass) -for the silk; and my brass pot – for the cotton

In the arrangement above, the rock with the rolled silk is the lower one, and the piece of cotton is bound to the upper rock. The two sticks just for the balance.

The rock with the rolled silk was simmered in the neutral pot (glass) for about 2 hours and left for 10 days before opened. This is what I got:

ro01 ro02 ro03 ro04 ro05 ro06 ro07

The sample with cotton was simmered in the brass pot, as I doubted that a not pre-mordanted cotton cloth would print even in a rock-as-a-mordant situation.

This is what the cotton piece ended up with:

ro08 ro09 ro10

Not much for the printing, ha? 

In both cases I surely trace some iron-oxide virtue! Even if with the cotton sample it is just a ghostly blur.

I only regret that I have not taken some pics of the stones before I put them into use, so much I was captivated by the idea, as they completely changed their colors after the procedure. They turned almost black and new color won’t wash away.

I love what is already there, given by the Nature, within my hand’s reach! And more than that I love the fact that I can use it for my art-work!

Happy discoveries, y’all!

 


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.

01st02

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!

05str07str04str06str01str02str

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”!! 


Euca Works

In my childhood the most popular home remedy for cough was inhalation of eucalyptus vapors obtained either from the oil, or from the dried plant material from the drug store. Ever since then, this method has seemed to me the most pleasantly smelling physiotherapy.

As an adult textile artist I found that dyeing with eucalyptus is quite popular midst the Natural Dyers – no wonder, those nice red to orange prints are so tempting with their vividness on the background of not-so-easy-to-get bright colors from the other natural materials.

Driven by my natural curiosity, not that long ago, I started looking for a chance to try this exotic dye material myself. Since I live in a hundred perсent eauca-free environment, I was somewhat restricted in sources for the testing material.

My very first experiments with euca happened to have unexpected results, if not frustrating. Not only did they bring my childhood memories of the multiple chest colds, but they also differed dramatically  from what was promised by the highly praised source.

Gradually my childhood memories shifted to more pleasant tonality, and I started to get some understanding about cause and effect:

The main fact to be taken into consideration is that the euca is not a local plant for this area. Thus, various plant material, dry or fresh, sprout or mature, from any of the 700 eucalyptus species, are unobtainable. Which means the main condition of getting truly amazing results is infeasible.

Step by step, pulling my theoretical knowledge and summarising my further practical results, I seem to have finally figured out the essence of the matter for myself.

While the most of the Natural Dyes are adjective, and we need hardly mention that chemistry rules here, the dye obtained from eucalyptus is substantive, i.e. the one that dissolves in water. This means that you can get color from eucalyptus simply by processing the plant material with water.  

The reason for not getting the right color, or no coloris having the wrong (of all the 700 species) euca type  as the dyeing material. By the type I mean both wrong specie and/or wrong part of the plant. As simple as that. And no magical recipe ( I hoped so much to find one!).

Any additives to the process can only enhance the present dyeing quality, but it is not possible to switch, say, from no-color to red. This conclusion I got based on my practical drills so far.   Now I am glad I can render some visualization here.              

 I have been lucky to get various euca species plant material at my possession, so I decided not to miss this opportunity and run a comparative  visual test, which I think might be of interest for the guys who do not have euca in their list of endemic plants.

For the test:     I have chosen sample leaves according to my understanding. Considering the shape, size, etc. of the leaves and branches, one can tell these are different species. No taxonomic classification, sorry!

The clear water with salinity as low, as 61 mg/dm3,  was boiled and poured over the leaves (the TDS measured with the meter). The leaves were left for as short as 3 to 5 min, just to cool down enough to put my fingers into. No mordants or modifies used.

I took a piece of viscose for this test, as it is known to be the most difficult surface to treat with natural dyes, as it has the least affinity for the plant dyes. I assumed that obtaining distinct prints that way would not be possible and I wanted to skip the prints part, as nice euca prints are already a well-known phenomenon today. And my idea for this test was to observe a substantive dye extraction and not be carried away by the artistic part.

01euc 03euc 04euc

As it is seen from the pix above some leaves are just over full with dye; it looks like the dye is already there on the surface. Some are just neutrally colored. 

The following was actually a surprise! Meaning, I assumed the dye should be easily obtained. But, Gee, that was fast!

In less than 2 min a leaf started bleeding bright red color! A minute later another specie bled vivid orange… What can I say? The expriment could have been terminated right there, for I got the proof for my guess-work.

05euc 06euc 07euc

The neutrally colored leaves below did not yield any dye ever; even after 1,5 h simmering there was no coloring effect worth mentioning.

Meanwhile, the dye extraction continued and more of the leaves yielded their red and orange shades on the cloth; no heat applied or anything.

And this only after a few minutes spent in hot water! What about an hour or a day soaking? Unbelievable!

08euc 09euc 10euc 11euc 12euc 13euc 14euc 15euc

All the above pix were taken before simmering, during a really short period of time from 7 to 15 minutes, I guess, when I was taking the leaves out of the water they were soaking in and arranging them on the cloth surface.

This, usually preliminary part of the dyeing process, in this case turned out to be a most informative and obvious and I decided it states the point all-right. So, I am skipping the after-simmering illustration.

Well, I assume that the above enlightenment  along with my sheer amazement, looks probably ridiculous to the guys who grew under the shade of the euca tree forest.

If I were a child of such forest, or at least had an eucalyptus tree or two in the area near by, I would definitely stick to the euca species as my major dyeing plant!

But, as the Reality stipulates otherwise, I am getting back to my lovely local endemics, not so approachable at times, but surely so promising


More on Wash Fastness

As much as I enjoy obtaining refined and unique marks from the plant material on fabric I cannot but brood over the Wash Fastness aspect, especially when it comes to wearables.

The common advice that can be most often found regarding washing and caring for naturally dyed textiles, is to hand wash it in cold water, or use a gentle cycle in the washing machine.

In my practice with natural dyestuffs I tend to meticulously run my own experiments to see how the same recipe/regularity works for me. Well, the moment I got my very first satisfying dyed pattern on a wearable item I immediately put on considering cap:

How long a garment treated with the natural dyes will serve before the increasing color fading from the multiple washes finally gives it an unappealing look?

Provided, of course, that the garment has been properly treated with mordants, as well as that the dyeing process has been carried out aptly.

07 08 09

For the silk accessories and such, the washing matter does not look as much uncertain as for the sportswear for instance. 

I really would have doubts as for a jersey T-shirt and a gentle washing cycle… Well, maybe I am just too lazy to consider a hand-wash, or is it just that I know that you cannot give a quality wash to a jersey T-shirt without presoaking it, which will definitely affect the natural dyes. So, why not give a try to a conventional washing then?

Still wearing the same considering cap, I got a dyed jersey shirt:

Front

Front

Back

Back

I decided to wear it on a regular basis from the moment I finished working on it last September, and throw it into the washing machine with the rest of my light-colored laundry; I used my usual detergent, Persil most of the time, for cotton fabrics.

These are some close-ups of the shirt pattern right after dyeing:

12 13 15

And now after three months and 15 to 18 washes, this is what I end up with at this moment:

01 02 03 04 05 06

Not sure how much obvious it really is from the pics, but the background color retains its corn-colored hue; while the bluish marks from the tannins have shifted towards brown color, as the result of their exposure to the high Ph of the washing powder.

Well, at this point my shirt still works for me. Which is fine. I’ll keep my further records on the gradual color shift and/or loosing color of this item.

Determining the point when the T-shirt starts looking toneless will surely give the better idea about the general shelf-life of my naturally-dyed clothes, which is essential info to be labeled on my naturally dyed collection.

So, dear colleagues, and what advice do you label your naturally dyed wearables with?



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