Dyeing silk and lace with Eucalyptus bark

Eucalyptus shedded bark ground- IMG_20180808_165249 - 004 - edited annotated
The bark falls off the trees ready for easy collection.
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.

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

Kimono dress – ‘Tasmanian Blues’ – garment blog

Eucalyptus dyed silk, painted, used for collar on kimono-dress ‘Tasmania Blue’
Applique details – Eucalyptus bark dyed lace – as nigella seed shapes.
Eucalyptus dyed Habotai silk used in lower patches – ‘Tasmania Blues’

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/684834947/comfortable-leisure-wear-kimono-dress-in?ref=shop_home_active_2

Kimono-Dress or house-dress ‘Purple Shimmers’

Purple and print patchworks

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

Shape is cut for fitted bodice front and back with bat-wing (kimono – like) sleeves extending from shoulders to high waist.

Front lacing over gusset, adjusts bust size from 36″ to 40″

Sleeves have cuffs which will turn back at the seam for tasking.

GMP annotated - Finished (VVG LACINGS) collar close up 2018-03-27

Notice collar, although a proper one, is caught down into high waist seaming at front, which could be thinner if copying idea, and stitch down to a point where it meets gusset (which I would do for a smaller summer dress)

GMP annotated - Finished, (VVG FRONT, SLEEVES)clear bright right sleeve 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 ‘Purple Shimmers’or to commission similar, visit ETSY shop

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.  I used all these fabrics except for the hand dyed silk 3rd from right.  (It will go into a similar one)

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.

Cutting of patchwork pieces to follow soon  ……….

Design Philosophy

Shamanic Nights  makes a personal commitment to hand crafted ‘slow fashion‘.       ‘Up-cycled couture’ better describes my craft work, as each garment is very carefully hand made from cut up recycled clothes found in Devon Charity Shops.  Results show how recycled textiles can still be beautiful, worthy and robust when discarded prematurely.

We do not need any more ‘fast fashion’, where profits come before material resource depletion: particularly water, cotton (film ‘White gold’) & silk as well as human energy waste where internationally based workers are paid lowly for many hours hard work just so someone can buy many things cheaply, only to cast them out after a short while, due to fashion dictates.

Good quality fabrics can last many years.  The only fabric which will not wear well is mixtures with acrylic or polyester, as the acrylic polymer threads always ‘catch’ and ruck up bobbly, making a garment surface look ‘worn out’ and certainly undesirable.

My unique colourful one-off bespoke casual leisure garments are available to buy online.  Online Shop

Update 2018:  First Sunday in the month April – October, I shall be on Exeter Quay under the old fish market as part of Inside Outside Markets.

Some Shamanic Nights garments have painted silk designs by  Amelia Jane Designs  on my other site, where you can find textile designs – paint on paper – remaining designs from 1990’s international freelance textile works.

Maker commitment – Making process and working philosophy

Cherry Fluzzies A & B

Two similar patchwork dresses inspired by using two halves of a bright cerise pink acrylic wool scarf with stretchy structure for bust fit.  Purple silk, taffeta, and lace combine with a legging print to create an exciting party colour combination.

Cherry Fluzzie B

Shorter version with black wooden buttons, thin straps and an additional patchwork hem frill in purple silk and multi-toned silk patchwork and frill.  Making details below.

Cherry B, RIGHT side view, with hem frill, indoors, right side view.png

Pink-purple silk, purple-black printed taffeta and rose print on black leggings are the fabric inspirations to go with the frivolous wool tops.         A

To buy ‘Cherrie Fluzzie B‘ please email ameliajhoskins@gmail.com – there are two slightly different ones available.

Dylan - Wooly top buttons closeup Cherry B.png
Ends of cerise pink scarf (cut in two for 2 dresses): edges are folded over twice and sewn down by hand with with pink thread or pink wool. Black wooden engraved Chinese buttons utilize holes already in the acrylic wool. It is necessary to stretch the destined 'hole' and use a few stitches to secure 'open' top and bottom, so it identifies easily as the buttonhole.

Cherry Fluzzie A

Longer version with toning cerise pink buttons and wider shoulder straps.

Woolly top and buttons Cherry A - edited.png
cherry-a-front-view-best-indoors-front-view-blurred-editd-annotated

Pink-purple silk, purple/black printed taffeta, and rose print on black

leggings are the fabric inspirations to go with the frivolous wool tops.

cherry-fuzzie-a-fabric-patches-floral-close-up-edited-annotated
         Zig-zag machining holds down inside seams. Available in Shop

Cherry Fluzzie B    Making Garment:

 
patchwork-semi-circle-joined-front-unjoined
Patch pieces joined into a semi circle. Outer sides will will become front. Different length patches were used due to material shortage.
Patchworks machined 1.png
By cutting patch shapes into A shapes, with straight top and bottom edges, they build up into a semi circle.
Patchworks machined back full joined.png
Patchwork semi-circle folded in two, back view. When top curve becomes the waistline, gathered in, good folds hang in skirt. Make 'A' shaped patches until required size is reached. This section is wider than needed to gather onto woollen top.
cherry-b-pinned-frill-2
Bottom frill pinned to dress hem, before zig-zagging on. Frill hem will also be zig-zagged.
Cherry B, pinned, tacked frill.png
Frill hem pinned, tack gathered, prior to zig-zagging.

Making garment:  Cherry Fluzzie A

patches-cut-from-leggins-edited-rotated-annotated
Leggings cut into 8 patches, use 4 or 8 per dress.
(2 short upper, 2 longer lower in skirt section).
Thigh shapes, turned upside down make good patches to
use as templates which when added to create a flared
shape.
Patchwork pinned prior to sewing - accurate daylight colour.png
Front side patchworks pinned to check colour placements. Silk fabric behind crimson lace patches.
patchwork-machined-central-horizontal-joins
Inside seams:  Join short patches to long patches
forming strips. Press seams up or down alternately
to reduce bulk at seam crossroads. Pin vertical patch 
strips.  Machine, and likewise press alternate sides
to avoid bulk on all corners.
 
patchwork-1st-machining-right-side-edited-annotated
Patchworks machined - skirt section.
hand-stretch-cross-back-stitching-skirt-patchwork-to-woolly-top-annotated
Joining patchwork skirt to stretch wool top using large hand stitches: cross-stitch done as back-stitch. See 'Love Never Dies' patchwork dress for more accurate close up instructions of stretch stitch.