Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ecoprints and Ecodyeing

Which translates into leaf prints and dyeing from nature.

It is truly amazing how a new branding can completely change a person’s concept about an activity that has been in existence for centuries and very clever of those people who do the re-inventing.

I am so enjoying collecting foliage, wrapping it up into felted or fabric bundles, throwing foliage and bundles into an old pot and seeing what happens. It is such a restorative pastime. And it even smells glorious.

Into these pots I put blue gum from my mother’s property. In the back pot I also added a rod of copper to see if there would be any difference in the colours obtained. There wasn’t.

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Into this pail I put some cotton and soaked it in milk overnight and hung it out to dry before dyeing it. I would really like to be able to produce vibrant colours on cotton. Silk is gorgeous but not quite as functional as cotton.

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I also tried a kangaroo paw that I have growing in a pot.

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The kangaroo paw left the marks on the left of the photo and bloody hell, I can’t remember what made the leaf marks on the right. I am going to have to be a lot more rigorous with my record keeping.

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I love making pre-felts and can’t wait to put all my pieces together and felt into one large piece. Knowing me though, this will be a long process.

Brilliant markings from blue gum and it’s buds.

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Below is the markings from Bushy Yates – my favourite piece of fabric so far.

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This is the cotton I soaked in milk. I wrapped it around red onion skins and bloody hell, can’t remember what else. I am getting very weird looks from the checkout chicks when I hold up my bag of onion skins for them to check. But I’m really liking the deep purples they produce.

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Not sure but maybe lemon scented eucalypt.

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Not sure but the orange print is probably Bushy Yates. Definitely need to take better records.

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A gratuitous picture from Granny.

6 comments:

Ro Bruhn said...

Love the results from your dye baths, I have India's book but haven't had time to try anything out yet. I spun wool quite a few years ago and was always mixing up a brew from gum leaves, but the printing looks so much more interesting.

Leisurely Lesley said...

Hi Ro, thanks for the comments. I have just visited your blog and got hit with the WOW factor. Your work is amazing!

Pam de Groot said...

Gorgeous prints and isn't it fun.

india said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
india said...

deleted previous remark due to painful spelling error.
now trying again

copper comes into its own when used in conjunction with reactive liquids like sea water and acidic solutions [such as a spent eucalyptus dye bath]. leaving it to 'marinate' for a while helps...

Leisurely Lesley said...

Thanks so much India. Will definitely give that a go and report back.