Archive for the 'natural dyeing' Category

NATURAL DYED ZIP CLUTCH

Natural Dyed Zip Clutch

I’ve had an over-sized zip clutch on my wish list for a while now. I’ve pinned quite a few, like this one and this one on Pinterest. Essentially, this is really just a simple zippered pouch, so there’s really no reason not to make one. I couldn’t decide on the fabric, it had to be the perfect one. I wanted to use a canvas rather than leather, but I didn’t have any that I liked for this project.

I decided to embark on a little natural dyeing adventure to create the fabric for this project. Luckily, we have had everything I needed at the workroom from our Natural Dyeing classes. I put a pot on the stove and started cooking! I dyed a large piece of organic cotton canvas and a piece of Kona white cotton. I started with Myrobalan, which is both a dye and a mordant. This turned the fabric yellowish. Next up was Logwood. This turned the fabric a brownish grey. Since I wanted something a bit more lively, I ended with a quick dip in Cochineal that brought out pretty lavender/purple shades. I haven’t done a lot of dyeing on my own, so I was really happy with the results.

Sewing the clutch was pretty simple once I figured out the size that I wanted it to be.

I love to add hidden details to my projects, so I put a silver foil heart on the inside lining. I know that will make me smile whenever I peek into this clutch.

Natural Dyed Zip Clutch

Natural Dyed Zip Clutch

Natural Dyed Zip Clutch

Natural Dyed Zip Clutch

Natural Dyed Zip Clutch

Share

MANNISH STYLE : DRESS 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style – available at the workroom
Dress 12 : silk shibori dyed in logwood

Oh boy, was I ever excited last week when I remembered that I had this piece of silk from my Advanced Natural Dyeing class. This pattern from Mannish Style is exactly what I had hoped to find to make a dress from this shibori fabric that I dyed in logwood. I love the drapey folds.

This pattern was also very easy! There are just 2 pieces (front & back), with the front being cut on the bias to give it that nice drape. The neck and arms are finished with bias trim. The pattern was intended for a knit fabric which you can see would have even more drape. Because of that, the dress is a bit snug around the hips and I would adjust the pattern next time to be a bit looser.  I would also love to make this in a fun knit fabric.

This silk is my most favourite piece of fabric that I have dyed myself. The super dark, inky purple colour we got from this logwood bath is so amazing and so much deeper than any other colour I’ve done in the past. There is still some of this silk leftover and I want to try to use every bit of it. I’m trying to figure out what else I can make with it, perhaps a tank top or camisole?

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Mannish Style : Dress 12

Share

NATURAL DYEING AT JULIE’S

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Thursday night, Julie hosted a fun backyard dyeing party for the students from the Advanced Natural Dyeing class. During the class we weren’t able to get the zinc lime indigo vat going properly, so Julie offered to have us over when she got one going successfully at home.

It was the perfect night to be outside eating fresh baked bread and cheese, drinking iced tea and experimenting with indigo. There were two indigo vats that Julie had going. One was a zinc lime indigo vat (you can see the ‘flower’ below that forms on top of the vat when it is ready for dyeing) and the other was a natural fermentation vat. We found the natural fermentation vat to be deeper in colour and I felt like I could try to do this type of indigo vat on my own. It was pretty exciting to try out other types of indigo. What is it about indigo blue?

I did some Itajime Shibori, which is created by simply folding and clamping your fabric. It’s so simple, but the results are stunning. I’m really happy with how my square window panes turned out and it was my first time trying to do triangular folds. I’m not too sure what I’m doing with these indigo pieces but I’m sure you’ll see them re-appear in another form in the future.

We also set up a pot of cochineal with lime juice, which seems to give some brilliant red results to the yarns that Susan and Julie were dyeing. We tried mixing cochineal and log wood into another pot and got a pretty purplish colour.

I over-dyed a few pieces that will go into my natural dyed quilt. I think I’m ready to assemble the quilt top and back. I can’t wait to see how all these dyed samples look together.

We stayed outside dyeing and chatting until it got too dark to see what we were doing and the mosquitos started to bite. We missed Carolanne and Margie that night, who couldn’t make it, but we talked about another get together since we had so much fun.

We ended the night with a raspberry pie that I got at Mabel’s on Roncesvalles. YUM. I’m plotting going back for another one that I might try to eat all by myself.

Check out Arounna’s photos here and Julie’s photos here. The top photo in this post is by Brian who took some great shots while I was unfolding my fabric.

p.s. Julie opened up a little shop on etsy to sell some limited run natural dyed accessories and yarns!

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Advanced Natural Dyeing Reunion

Share

ADVANCED NATURAL DYEING

Solar Dyeing

One of our many new classes is an Advanced Natural Dyeing class. Many of the past Natural Dyeing students wanted a next level class where they could explore more dyestuffs and different techniques. Also, we just love taking classes from Julie. The advanced class is completely self directed, so each student has their own personal projects and develops a plan with Julie ahead of time.

Natural dyeing is really exciting. I love when the back area and kitchen of the workroom changes into a laboratory with pots everywhere that are bubbling up with bundles of fabric inside. It’s messy and chaotic and thrilling. Also, dyeing with a group of people is so much fun.

I had two projects that I wanted to work on. The first was a very simple natural dyed quilt. I took some organic cotton brushed sheeting and randomly cut it into pieces that I dyed and over-dyed into various colours. My plan is to simply stitch all the pieces back together to create a front and back of a quilt. I’ve kept pretty good notes on what each piece was dyed in, so the quilt will be a bit of a map of all the dyeing I did in class.

My second project was to dye a piece of silk for a dress. I’ve been pinning all kinds of inspirational dyeing images on Pinterest. In particular, I really loved this super dark, inky dress and wanted to try to replicate that depth of colour. A lot of the natural dye colours end up being very soft and muted, so I thought I would have to do some over-dyeing to build up that kind of colour. By accident, I ended up creating a very dark logwood bath using an older bundle of logwood chips that had been previously used and I had kept for the past few months in a plastic bag. I think something about the wood staying wet for so long, released a lot of colour into the bath and we got a purple that was almost black. There are so many great surprises in natural dyeing. I twisted up and tied my bundle of silk and cooked it carefully in the bath for a while. I’m so happy with how it turned out in the end and love the shibori pattern it created.

Arounna made all kinds of lovely scarves and bags from her class work. Margie had all kinds of shibori, yarn and even her beautiful crochet stones dipped into the pots. Carolanne was working on an indigo shibori dyed piece of washi paper that she is hand quilting. Brian was working on creating fabric samples to make quilt blocks from. Susan did some fun solar dyeing, yarn and shibori experiments. Even Julie bundled up some fabric during class for solar dyeing. We had such a great time in class together and I think there will have to be a little dye party reunion during the summer. I want to do more dyeing!

Arounna's mordanted fabric

Dye samples

Karyn's Dye Samples for a Quilt

Karyn's Logwood Shibori on Silk

Margie's Dyed Yarn + Crochet Stone

Share

HANDY APRON

Handy Apron

I designed the Handy Apron shortly after opening the workroom. At the time, I was the only one working in the shop and often found myself trying to find my one tape measure or remember where my pair of scissors was. I decided to take a crack at creating my own utility apron that could double as a gardening apron or just a generally handy apron with pockets and loops.

I’ve made a few of these and love wearing them. All the little pockets are great to stash all kinds of things you might want to have quick access to. When I saw this French botanical fabric (the writing is in French, but the fabric is Japanese), I knew I needed to make myself a gardening apron. I used contrasting fabrics for the first time, choosing a plain linen for the ties and for the tool loops. When the apron was finished, I thought it would be fun to add some texture to the natural linen. During the India Flint workshop, India talked about a technique she would often do called hapa-zome. Essentially, you hammer or smash plant material (leaves or flowers) into fabric to create an imprint. I really wanted to try this simple technique out. I snipped some leaves from the garden and set about smashing them into the linen ties. Some things worked better than others, but I was amazed at the clarity of the images this technique left behind. When reading up on other people’s experiences with hapa-zome on the internet, I found that most people would layer the plant material in between two pieces of fabric before smashing. I used a metal hammer and carefully tapped directly onto the leaves that lay on my fabric, which was laid out on top of a piece of template plastic on top of patio stones. This is an incredibly satisfying process, as you can imagine.

To set the imprints, I just used my iron to steam the fabric. I’ve also read about using salt water to set the prints. To test the fastness, I threw the apron in the washer and dryer. There was a bit fading. I think it was mostly all the smashed plant material being washed away, but I quite like the faded look. This method is not super permanent, but apparently it can be extended by pre-mordanting the fabric and also by waiting as long as possible before washing it.

One note. I used organic cotton canvas as a sew-in interfacing inside the apron. This is something I’ve been using as a substitute for interfacing in my bags and other projects. I didn’t pre-wash the canvas before using it and it shrunk a fair amount when I washed the apron. I ended up taking part of the apron apart to adjust for the shrinkage. I hadn’t run into this problem before, since I don’t usually wash my bags. I will pre-wash the cotton canvas going forward, just in case.

Handy Apron

Handy Apron

Handy Apron

Handy Apron

Share

COLOURFUL FABRIC DRESS BOOK : T-SHIRT

Colourful Fabric Dress Book : T-Shirt

After the India Flint workshop, I was inspired to try doing a simple tie dye t-shirt. I used the super simple pattern from the nani IRO book, “Colourful Fabric Dress Book“. We have some lovely white organic cotton jersey at the workroom that was perfect for this project. I cut out the pieces (there are only 2!) for this project and wrapped some rubber bands around the sleeve area and the hem. I decided to forgo mordanting the fabric in order to get a softer result. The next time I dye this cotton jersey, I’ll try using milk as my mordant. (Awesome tip from India Flint!) I used a very exhausted logwood dye bath we’ve had at the shop for almost a year. Every time we do a Natural Dyeing class, I always get Julie to leave behind the logwood since I’m so in love with grey.

I absolutely love the soft dove grey colour of the jersey. I’m also really delighted with my tie dye experiment. I am definitely going to do more. I actually also tie dyed some other pieces of jersey at the same time to make a couple pairs of underwear.

The sewing for this project was merely four seams sewn on up on the serger. It couldn’t be any easier. I didn’t even do anything to finish the edges on the neckline, sleeves or hem. I thought of possibly doing some satin bias trim, but then I wanted to wear it right away. Maybe another day or perhaps I’ll save that for another project.

Colourful Fabric Dress Book : T-Shirt

Colourful Fabric Dress Book : T-Shirt

Colourful Fabric Dress Book : T-Shirt

Colourful Fabric Dress Book

Share

INDIA FLINT WORKSHOP

Fabric Bundles

A couple weeks ago, I had the honour of joining a week long workshop at the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op with Australian textile artist, India Flint. India is world renowned for the magic she has created with natural dyes and her unique approach to imparting colour and foliage prints to textiles and paper.

Since taking our natural dyeing class last year, I’ve been wanting to do more, (I think about it all the time!) but somehow haven’t gotten around to it. Silly how that happens. The opportunity to spend a whole week playing with plants and fabric with India at the helm was just perfect.

We spent our days learning India’s gentle ways of collecting nature materials from florist or grocer garbage (with permission), going on windfall walks (collecting only what has fallen on the ground and not harvesting), learning about local weeds (plants that are in excess for picking) and looking in our own backyards. Even her mordants are made of milk (soy or cow), found scrap metals, pickle juice and aluminum foil from chocolate bars rather than hard and caustic metals.

India’s approach to dyeing was very freeing. We didn’t use a scale, a thermometer or a ‘recipe’ of any sort. We were encouraged to work on small samples (rather than dyeing 3 metres at once), mostly using silk and wool (protein fibres which take colour much more vibrantly). We lay our plant material directly on the fabric and then wrapped or folded it into tight bundles with elastic and string. We had several dye pots on the go, one with onion skins, one with iron scraps, one with who-knows-what. We would sometimes leave the bundles overnight and arrive in the morning to unwrap our treasures. The imprints we each got were truly remarkable. What a beautiful way to mark fabric.

We used the same process to dye paper that we had hand stitched to create a little book. Each student also spent the week deconstructing a men’s shirt to make a special work apron, which we also dyed and hand stitched our samples to. At the end of the week, we took a group photo wearing our aprons. So cute!

On the last day we gathered up all our favourite samples and took some time to admire each other’s work. It was amazing to see how much of our personalities was present in our dyeing samples. Such diverse results from working with mostly the same materials.

I’ve been reflecting on the experience ever since with much wonder. Thank you, India!

I took tons of photos during the week and I’ve posted them all on flickr here.

Learn more about India Flint : site : blog

India's Apron & Eucalytus Sample

Windfall from High Park

365 : 181

Silk Sample

Everybody's Paper Bundles

365 : 180

Wool sample

Wearing Our Aprons

Share

365 : 84

365 : 84

March 25, 2010 of 365 : natural dyed textile creation by debbie arruda

Debbie is in her last days of school and she’s making some really awesome stuff!

Share

WARDROBE REFRESH #4

Wardrobe Refresh #4

Last night I dreamt about natural dyeing. Stirring big black pots of coloured liquid with fabric swirling all around. To be fair, before I fell asleep I was looking up information on logwood. Logwood is my favourite natural dye, it gives you shades of black, grey, purple and everything in between. Right now, I am in love with all of those colours. I can’t get enough.

I don’t have a “before” photo, but this button-down shirt used to be white. It’s just a simple fitted cotton shirt from Abercrombie. The problem was that it got some mysterious yellow stains after a washing that made it unwearable. Rather than toss it, I kept it hoping that someday I might be able to revive it back to life.

The second run of our Natural Dyeing class just finished and we had a logwood dyebath just hanging out at the workroom. After mordanting the shirt, I dropped it into the pot for a half hour. The resulting colour is a subtle greyish lavender and now the shirt is back in my closet.

I’ve been thinking about doing a quilt from natural dyed fabrics. There is something so incredible and rich about fabrics that are natural dyed. Even the slight unevenness of the colour adds to the charm.

I’d love to do a quilt with all different shades of logwood and a bit of pink cochineal thrown in. I’ve started a list of future quilt projects I hope to tackle. I have a feeling this list is going to grow quickly. You’ll find it at the bottom of My Crafty List of Things to Do.

Wardrobe Refresh #4

Wardrobe Refresh #4

Logwood Dyebath

Share