eco dyeing

We had a great workshop on eco-dyeing here in Gatton on the weekend, with Nat Billing. Nat is an eco-dyer, using leaves and fruit and vegetables and, well anything really, to make beautifull naturally-dyed and printed fabric. You can find out a little bit about her here and she is also on Facebook.
We were able to dye a number of pieces using a variety of methods, all utilising naturally-found ‘dyes’. We used leaves – each tree leaf with its own properties and resultant effects, onion skins, grapes, purple carrots and seeds.
The fabrics we used were a wool knit, raw silk, silk satin and paper. The leaves were placed on the fabric and then rolled around pieces of pipe, sticks, rusted metal, seed pods etc
batch1-wrapped_around_pipesv2-crop
and placed in a brew – this first one used iron as the mordant, set at a high simmer.
into-the-pot
My first two pieces: wool with leaves wrapped around a rusted pipe which gave the dimpled look through the middle but you can also clearly notice the outlines of the leaves:
rusted pipe iron water
wool on rusted pipe
This is raw silk with a softer look, but still showing the leaves with muted greens:
raw silk iron
This silk satin had leaves, and red onions for the pink and grapes to give the purple colour:
silksatin-red-onion-grapes-leaves
Meryl showing one of her pieces:
meryl
I also tried using some watercolour paper- folded and layered with leaves and onion skins and carrot then clamped between tiles like this:
20140906_110128
When I first opened it, with the leaves still on it – such beautiful rich colours:
leaves-on-paper-crop
The paper once it had dried:
IMG_20140906_175009
Opening up each piece to see what had happened was just like Christmas morning- a surprise when you saw what was there!
We had a great time, and I think there are a few converts amongst us who will be trying it again in future. Thanks Nat for a fantastic day. :)