Before I whizzed off the the Village Continuum festival I did a quick spot of eco-dyeing. I somehow managed to squeeze it in between the packing and prepping for my leather craft workshop. (Surprised? Nah, I'm sure you're not :)
My original plan had been to make a shirt I could wear to the festival so I had already pre-mordanted the fabric with ash water and then soy. The shirt was 100% cotton and came from an op-shop. It cured for a couple of weeks before I got around to dyeing it.
I used plum leaves, cinerea leaves and random eucalyptus leaves for the bundle. It was wrapped around an aluminium can and popped into an aluminium pot with a bunch cinerea leaves. I simmered it for around 6 hours and then let it sit in the pot for a day before taking the bundle out of the pot. I left the dye water in the pot and added in a skein of wool to see what would happen.
I didn't have time to unbundle it before I went and by the time I did get to it there were fuzzy bits of mould growing on the surface. Not to worry, I unbundled it anyway. The front is quite understated with a few leaf prints but the back is gorgeous if I do say so myself!
I was hoping to get blues from the plum leaves but it didn't happen except for in one spot where there was a cinerea leaf on the other side of the fabric. I'm wondering if the aluminium changed the colour from blues to purples - you can see some faint purple plum leaf prints on the front of the shirt. Or maybe it was the reaction with the cinerea leaves in the pot. Who knows? It's a beautiful mystery and I like wondering about it. Being curious is good!
All in all I'm pretty happy with my first piece of eco-dyed clothing. I love the gum leaf prints and the reddy brown colour. From now on I'm going to be scouring op-shops for white shirts which I haven't worn since before having kids. (Kids = mess!). I'm imagining a whole wardrobe of eco dyed clothes :)