Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eco Bundling - OMG!

Now that I have completed the work for Inspirations, my first art showing at The Silo Gallery, I have moved on to other projects. Namely papermaking and continuing to experiment with natural dyes and dyeing.

On Sunday afternoon, I mordanted two of the four batches of cotton fabric (old bed sheets) which I treated with tannin back in March (see post here), one batch with alum and the other with copper. I let the batches sit in the mordants until yesterday when I wrung them out, rinsed the copper and half the alum- treated pieces and hung all to dry.

I cut up some of the rinsed, alum treated cotton to experiment with.  I am testing "cold water dyeing" with walnut hulls and oak bark, so a piece of fabric went into a small dye bath of each. Will let those sit for a few days to absorb the most color.

I have been wanting to try "eco-bundles", which India Flint describes in her book on natural dyeing, Eco-Colour.  Now that the fabric was ready, I was able to do so.  I rolled fresh flower petals from Othello roses, pink Pelargoniums, Tithonias, petunias, cosmos, rudbeckias, salvia and catmint. Leaves of woad, orange mint, lemon balm, broadleaf plantain, Lysimachia, sage, beet stems and leaves were also rolled and all were bundled with rubber bands.

These were then steamed for one hour and left to cool overnight.

 India suggests leaving the bundles for a week to let the colors fully develop, but I could not resist taking a peak of each today! And OH MY GOSH how gorgeous that peak is!! I unrolled a few. Here are some photos. We'll see if I can wait a week to unroll the rest!

Othello rose petals

top layer: rudbeckias, cosmos, salvia, catmint (see above)
bottom layer: rudbeckias, cosmos, salvia, catmint
Pelargonium petals

beet stems and leaves

tithonia flowers

As a papermaker and printmaker, you know I will be experimenting with achieving these results on paper!

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