My recent eco-dyeing adventure taught me that rust is good. It leaves the most amazing marks and impressions on fabric when you're close contact printing. And I'm sure the rusty metal contributes its own properties to the dye pot, changing the colours of the plants used for dyeing.
I'd always viewed rusty items with distaste but now I'm seeing them in a whole new light. I was so excited to discover a couple of rusty aluminium tins that had been left on the balcony. In their previous life they had been pots for plants that have long since died. Not only do I have a new found love for rusty things, I also want to make things go rusty quickly so I can use them in my eco-dyeing. Luckily there's a trick for that!
Clean glass jar jar
Throw some metal scraps (eg old nails, bottle tops, ring pulls etc) in the empty glass jar.
Fill to about half full.
Pour in vinegar until the metal is covered.
After a little bit, the vinegar will get all frothy.
When the froth dies down, put the lid on the jar and store for a eek or so.
Pour off the vinegar on to the compost heap.
Store the rusty metal in a clean jar. You don't have to worry about it being dry - the more rust the better!