Dyeing silk and lace with Eucalyptus bark

Eucalyptus top of tree - IMG_20180808_165031 - 004 cropped annotated

I collected this bark from 2 trees; Eucalyptus Viminalis, Manna Gum, and Eucalyptus Archeri, Alpine cider gum (Tasmania) in Hillier Arboretum, Hampshire, UK.

The bark falls off the trees ready for easy collection.

Eucalyptus shedded bark ground- IMG_20180808_165249 - 004 - edited annotated
Eucalyptus bark, 3 leaves, dye pot starter - box bark - IMG_2018-09-10 17.56.05 - 003 - edited annotated
Dye pot eucalyptus bark and 3 leaves soaking - IMG_2018-09-10 17.56.12 - 003 - edited annotated
Eucalyptus bark soaking in dye pan.

 

Break up bark and leave to soak for a day or overnight.  I added 3 leaves to ensure a colour result (as dye instruction books use leaves for strong result).  I heated to boil, then simmered for 1hr to 1hr 30mins.  Remove bark and put silk in pot.  (I pre-mordanted the silk by soaking in water with alum in a bowl overnight; although not necessary with Eucalyptus).  It wasn’t necessary to reboil and simmer the silk in the pan as it took up the dye well immediately, and quickly grew darker.  After about an hour of soaking, frequently moving around, I heated it for about 10 mins and again left it to cool soaking.

Dye pot silk dyed eucalyptus bark - IMG_2018-09-11 09.51.05 - 002 - edited annotated
Silk rapidly absorbs bark dye

Silk absorbs bark dye very well, and quickly. I left it in cold dye bath for 1 hr  then simmered the pot for 10 mins.

Mixed fibre lace first imersion in dye bath - IMG_2018-09-11 14.35.17 - 002 - edited annotated
Lace fabric on fist placing in dye bath (content unknown; likely cotton/polyester mix.)  It rapidly takes up the dye, although it was not pre-mordanted.

Lace fabric on fist placing in dye bath (content unknown; likely cotton/polyester mix.)

It rapidly takes up the dye, although it was not pre-mordanted, like the silk was.

Dye pot Eucalyptus bark, lace dyed - IMG_2018-09-11 14.34.39 - 003 - edited annotated
Lace fabric having taken up the dye after an hour or so simmering
Silk dyed eucalyptus bark, rinsed - IMG_ 2018-09-11 11.12.35 - 002 edited annotated
Washing out dyed silk, to remove excess dye.

Final colour is a rich gold: silk looks very bright in sunlight; a deeper old gold tone indoors.

Eucalyptus bark with gold silk after dyeing - IMG_2018-09-11 14.05.46. - 003 edited annotated
Silk dyed with bark, rinsed and dried.
Eucalyptus bark pot, mixed fibvre lace and silk, iron modified - IMG_2018-09-11 16.15.55 - 002 edited annotated

Adding rusty water (iron) deepens the colour of silk and lace in two more samples.

Silk dyed Eucalyptus, with geranium, right side modified iron 002 - edited - annotated - IMG_2018-09-11 17.20.53
Second silk sample modified after dying with rust water.
Lace dyed with Eucalyptus bark IMG_2018-09-12 11.27.23
Mixed fibre lace fabric dyed with eucalyptus dye pot, after the silk.  Top grey-brown was modified after dyeing, with iron using rusty water from rusty nails.

To follow up… a new garment using both silk samples with silk painting is in the making.  Colour combinations of blues with deep gold highlights, picking out colours in the prints.

Charity fabrics, blues + Eucalyptus dyed gold - 002 - IMG_2018-09-11 17.41.16
Charity shop clothes – chosen colour combination with ‘Eucalyptus bark’ dyed gold silk
The design will be used in kimono-dress, with the added lace pieces; also dyed with the eucalyptus bark
Eucalyptus dyed silk, two tones sheen, with painting stage one 2018-10-20 13.22.31 - 002 - edited annotated
Two tones dyed with initial painting idea

Seed designs steamed into dyed silk.  A new discharge paste brushed on to the seed head areas did not work on the natural eucalyptus bark dye!  To be re painted with contrasts.

Eucalyptus dyed silk painting poppy seed close stage one 2018-10-20 13.25.14 - 002 edited annotated
Eucalyptus dyed silk, modified darker with iron rust, over painted, steamed.

Large poppy seed heads: (discharge paste did not work to bleach the eucalyptus dye from those areas).  Test piece for general design idea, to be repainted with darker seed heads.

Eucalyptus dyed silk, Nigella seeds painting stage one 2018-10-20 13.24.30 - 002 edited annotated
Initial painted design idea with Nigella seed heads

Practice piece painting over eucalyptus dyed silk.  Discharge (bleaching paste) did not work through eucalyptus dye – interesting!  Seed heads to be repainted darker, for contrast.

Outlines are drawn with acid dye into gutta resist (blue lines).   Background texture in maroon are created with collagraph printing:-   Seeds flattened and glued to cardboard, then used as a print stamp underneath silk, pressed from upper surface.  (Details to be added)

Eucalyptus dyed silk, close up painting 2018-10-20 13.24.49
Eucalyptus dyed silk, painted, used for collar on kimono-dress ‘Tasmania Blue’
Eucalyptus dyed Habotai silk used in lower patches – ‘Tasmania Blues’
Kimono dress ‘Tazmania Blues’ back view patchwork.
Applique details – Eucalyptus bark dyed lace – as nigella seed shapes.
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Avocado – Natural Dyed Silk

Habotai silk dyed in Avocado pits, Hydrangeas 2018-06-22 - 002 edited annotated

Habotai silk dyed by emersion in an avocado pit dye bath.

Final colour after simmering and soaking for 2-3 hours.  A subtle light, dusky champagne-peach.  A colour which can coordinate with all other colours in my patchwork garments.  A good base for silk painting in stronger colours.

Avocado pits 2018-06-22 - 001 - edited annotated

Avocado pits collected over the years.  I used about 50 (half my storage).  They will hopefully provide another dye bath.  No mordant was used, to enable me to see the natural colour obtainable.  More tests with mordants will follow.

Avocado pits and dyed silk 2018-06-22 - 002 - edited annotated

Avocado pits after using and dyed silk.

Habotai silk rinsed after avocado dye bath 2018-06-21 - 002 edited annotated

Rinsing out silk after the dye bath.  Hardly any colour washed out.  The take-up was good: this is because there is a natural mordant in the avocado pits.

Final colour accurate, habotai silk, avocado dyed, basket, window 2018-06-22

The silk – accurate colour, which looks different in different lights.  In the shade it is more dusky pink, in sunlight – more creamy gold.  Dye absorption was very even.

Avocado dyed habotai silk, pink-white geraniums 2018-06-22 - 002 edited annotated

This avocado dyed silk will blend well with creams, pinks, peaches, jade greens and greys.     Colour co-ordinations of new garments made with this silk and other patchwork fabrics will appear here when completed….

 

Natural plant dyes

Alder identified closer 2018-04-28

Plants and trees that we can use in dye baths, with and without mordants (which make colours stronger) easily dye cotton, linen and silk.

Alder dye bath 2018-04-28

Just a simple collection and boiling of plant matter, then simmering with fabric steeped.

Nettle dyed lace, alder dyed linen2018-05-01 14.58.41

Very bright yellow, or ocre yellow achieved with Alder plant matter, leaves and twigs. A pre process mordant is soya milk which the centre linen was soaked in.  Its a little too bright for my taste so I would use without mordant.

The left lace is with nettle dyebath, a very subtle dark cream, with hint of yellow-green in reality.

Madder, measure out 2018-04-28

Flora used same weight as fabric.

Madder dyebath 2018-04-28

Samples Madder fold & crunch dyed 2018-05-01 - 002 - edited annotated

Left: Ahimsa silk, folded in triangles along folded strips, to create ‘resist’ non-dyed areas.

Right: Habotai silk scrunched and rubber band tied, to create abstract, cosmic or marbled effect.

Either of these can be used as a background, to hand paint over with other colours; this is a technique I will explore in the future as preparation for silk painting designs.  Flora’s workshop used plant based mordants (colour intensifiers) but metallic mordants would produce different shades.

Madder dye on lace fabrics 2018-05

Stripes achieved by folding fabric and using rubber bands to keep tight, preventing dye penetrating fabric.

Oak galls dyebath 2018-04-28

Fabric samples Oak gall dyeing, folded resist 2018-05 - 001 edited

Ahimsa silk folded and clamped to resist dye penetration, results in pattern.

Cotton lace rolled and 2 rubber bands used to achieve resist un-dyed stripes.

Fabric display, natural dyed 2018-04-28

Flora’s workshops can be booked at her website:

 

 

 

Kimono Dress ‘Aldebaran’

Three quarter side view

    

‘Aldebaran’ : a reddish star in Taurus Aldebaran info site

“The reddish star Aldebaran – the fiery eye of the Bull in the constellation Taurus – is an ageing star and a huge star! The computed diameter is between 35 and 40 solar diameters.”

Orange and red flowers in patchwork fabrics inspired the name.

Front, inserted lace loops 2018-04-20
Loops encased under collar
Aldebaran, ful frontl dummy, sunny workshop - 001 - annotated 2018-05-05 14.36.54
Aldebaran, front lacings closeup, collar - 001 - edited annotated 2018-05-05

Front lacings adjustable bust size 36-42 inch.  Lacing can be removed.

Back, lower, right inset, Clear, close - 2018-04-11 19.17.52 - 002 - edited

 

Aldebaran, RS threequarters dummy, room - 002 - edited - annotated 2018-05-05

Making

Aldebarran sleeves, showing satin lining 2018-04-07 17.06.37

1.Front bodice pieces, pinned to lining one sleeve2018-04-07 - 002 - annotated 1400scale

2.Bodice back, sleeves, layout 2018-04-07 - 002 - edited 1500scale

5.Left side, inset, pinned patchworks 2018-04-08 - 002 - annotated 1400scaled

6.Left, bottom, inset, patchworks2018-04-11 - 002 - annotated 1500scaled
7.Front bottom, side insets 2018-04-11 - 002 - annotated 1500scaled
 
MAKING:  Patches are cut in equal sizes: (18cm here) then pinned to lining shapes of all pattern pieces.  Adjust shapes of patches as garment shape needs.  (First define and cut garment shape pattern pieces with lining, which is easier than adding lining afterwards!).  Here, a peachy shiny satin blouse was used for sleeve lining and standard black lining cut from dresses is used for the main body.
The bodice front and back and sleeves are joined by ‘princess-line’ seam which goes from front high-waist up and over shoulder to back high-waist.  Skirt is made separately then joined to the bodice and sleeves.
 Lining at side position is slit to enclose insert, or use existing side seam in skirt alterations.

Collar making and attaching

To buy ‘Aldebaran Kimono Dress’ direct from Amelia, or to commission a new one, please email ameliajhoskins@gmail.com (Online shop under reconstruction)

Purple Patchwork Kimono-Dress ‘Purple Shimmers’

Kimono-Dress in patchworks – fabric upcycling process.

GMP ANNOTATED - Finished (VVG FRONT LENGTH) 2018-03-27 1000px
GMP annotated - Finnished, (VVG BACK DRAPED) all length, shadows and light 2018-03-27

Kimono-Dress patchwork, lined. Lace-up decorative front expands to fit bust 36 – 40 inches. Length: below knee.

GMP annotated - Finished, (VVG FRONT, SLEEVES)clear bright right sleeve 2018-03-27
GMP annotated - Finished (VVG LACINGS) collar close up 2018-03-27
GMP annotated - Finnished (VVG back) top, gathered to hips 2018-03-27
Gorgeous patchwork colours form treasure trove arrangement.  Generous fit up to 40 bust:  Sleeves are kimono style loose, starting from below bust line.  Lace ties ensure fit under bust.  Back bodice top is already fitted to body, with gathers below

To buy ‘Aldebaran’ or to commission similar, please email ameliajhoskins@gmail.com

Purple Patchwork Kimono-Dress – Creation Journey

Purple fabric collection on floor - 800scale_2018-01-29
Purples ‘collection’ as garments from charity shops.  Plus bottom right hand plant-dyed silk
Purple fabric collection_edited_2018-02-03

Three or four plains and three to four prints, with maybe another contrasting plain works well.  At least 7 different fabrics are needed for a good patchwork result.

Charity shop fabrics, purples, hangers_2018-01-15_ 002 - annotated
Charity shop finds to match existing purple fabrics.  The shiny dress will become lining.
WDPS Purple line dress, collar, button welt cut- off

When cutting up garments for patchwork, cut up along the sides of all seams.  Sometimes cotton and linen seams can be ripped undone, and more fabric saved.  Overall, unpicking is not worth the time it takes.

WDPS Purple, black, green blouse, cut-away at seams_2018-02-13

Sometimes there is fabric strain near darts or side seams as there were in this blouse.  In such case, don’t undo the seam where stitches have pulled.  This blouse had strain around the front dart seams.  Due to inherent weakness in the loose weave, this fabric will be quilt-machined onto a thin cotton backing, to ensure it stays firm.

Many parts of a garment can be recycled into a different new garment, such as this lace-styled neck.  It won’t be included in the kimono, but it will form the start of another dress, likely to be with navy, if only the lace is used, or navy and pink if the print is kept.

This top is from a stretch cotton fabric, so will be quilt machined onto a cotton, for firmness, to be similar in weight to the linen and taffeta.  If used only in its stretch state, it may cause a slight ‘baggyness’ in parts of the patchwork.

To buy ‘Aldebaran’  or to commission similar, please email ameliajhoskins@gmail.com

Cutting of patchwork pieces to follow soon  ……….

Natural Dye Workshop: Petal Colour and Seeds on Silk

Flower and seed dyed cloth, 1000scaled

Silk after being steamed after which the dye comes out of the petals and seeds, and other plant material.

Dye workshop, petals, seeds on cloth
Petals and seeds over silk sprayed with vinegar

Thin silk above, and thicker silk below; these petals and seeds will produce purple, lilac, red and pink dyed areas.

Red petals on silk
Petals and seeds

Spreading petals and seeds on to silk.  Their dye spreads out on the immediate area after steaming.

String wrapped silk parcels, for steaming -20170917_190537
Silk parcels ready for steaming

Fold silk over in triangular folds, then roll tightly.  Wrap tightly with string to hold together in the steam pan.

Silk hanging,two, yellow, purple patches _ 20170917_153625
Students’ samples hung to dry after steaming.

Video display of samples.

Silk samples hung, previous done, pink, gold - 20170917_153618
Pink and gold

Silk hanging, pastel colours-20170917_153603
Beige, gold, pink.

Silk hung, violet gold, other pieces
Dark dye spots can be Black Hopi Sunflower seeds.

Silk bundles for steaming, pink petals around_20170918_145300

My bundles kept overnight, steamed next day; allowing time for dye impregnation.

Red dyed silk (mine) unfolded_20170918_150119 copy - 001 - edited
My thin silk sample after steaming bundle.

My sample, after steaming; strong madder and hollyhock dye colour on thin silk.

Lilac, gold dyes, thick silk_20170918_150340
My thicker silk sample; lilac, purple, ocre.

Thicker silk gives less strong colour results; lilac, purple, ocre, using the simple method.  The seed remains are visible before washing.  Silk sampling is with ad-hoc arrangement of colours.  If fabric had a resist paste or melted wax in some places, the dye would not penetrate and that would make a design left in white.

Lilac, gold, unfolded thick silk parcel_20170918_150419
Some of the darker dyes are from Hopi Sunflower seeds.

Tipee technology, silk dye workshop
Teepee at Forde Abbey Garden Festival for Plant dye workshop

Forde Abbey, circle windows, wisteria, seed sculptures on plinths copy, 002 - edited - scaled
Ford Abbey

Plant dye workshop I attended to make my samples was run by Flora Arbuthnott at Forde Abbey Garden Festival 2017.  Details of flora’s work and workshops below:-

Natural dyeing, bundle dyeing, organic indigo dyeing, japanese shibori resist techniques, natural mordants, colour foraging Walks. http://wilddyegarden.co.uk/

Magazine feature http://www.floraarbuthnott.com/country-homes-interiors

Flora’s ‘Wild Dye Garden’ on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wilddyegarden/