Logwood Dyeing with Batik and Silk Painting for Dresses

PROJECT: Experimentation with beeswax batik resist as background texture for silk painting

I made two samples with silk pieces: 1st logwood dye bath produced strong purple after drying (but it got burnt when the steamer boiled dry, so I made another one), 2nd logwood dye bath using the residue of first dye bath, which resulted in light-dull grape colour. Useful to discover; means can use a small amount of logwood for paler tone.

Result: 1st Logwood dye bath

Gallery: Deep purple dyed silk shows where shibori technique worked (scrunching up with gathered threads) leaf vein and butterfly edging. Leaf areas did not work as resisted, so dye bleach was applied to design area. This is ironed out when dry, and worked only partially. It seems logwood is almost impervious to chemical bleach.

Design areas were outlined again with a dark dyed gutta for more emphasis of, before adding fresh dye colours to images. Silk sample burnt in steaming, will feature in another dress from strips salvaged. (Gallery)

2nd Logwood dye bath – Batik preparation

BATIK: Silk piece stretched to frame. Design drawn with blue water soluble marker pen design drawn. Applying bees wax to silk, with brush end and brushes.

Design drawn with water dissolvable blue marker pen.  Wax is applied as hot as possible. The centre motif worked best (and lightest outcome) where wax was hottest.  Keep heating up wax by placing dish over boiling water pan. Other surrounding wax markings with brush end dabs and hog bush worked less well.  The clearest resisted area is in the centre, where the wax was originally just off the boil. It also came away the easiest when ironed after dyeing. So I would not recommend using weak, faint brush marks when applying wax. It won’t form a strong enough ‘cover’ and the dye will seep behind which can be seen in image below, although a feint texture was achieved.

Shibori test techniques

1st logwood dye bath test created white resisted butterfly outlines (above) after stitching threads very tightly together. Rows of loose stitching, and threads pulled as much as possible, creating a ruched area which creates a resist area against dye penetration. 2nd soak in same dye bath (when most dyestuff had been taken up) revealed poor resist, using shibori stitch gathering (shown on waxed piece). Note: Shibori works well if fabric excluded enough from dye bath – so use thick embroidery silks or string type thread. Simple cotton thread was not thick enough.

Removing batik wax

When dyed fabric is dry – iron over thick brown paper (parcel paper type) placed over silk and wax; iron several times, with fresh paper and hot iron. When wax seems all removed, wash silk in hot water and soap. Any stubborn wax can be scrubbed very, very lightly with a soft brush, to loosen. (Note: wax batiking in this way for fashion, is not ideal on silk) Cotton is a firmer base for artwork where it wouldn’t matter if some residue of wax remains in fabric.

Result: 2nd Logwood dye bath with Batik Lilac-beige silk texture – subtle result after washing out logwood dye, and removing wax.

Fabric co-ordinates: Blend and contrast ideas with batik colour result prior to silk painting. (View Gallery)

Fabric co-ordinates: Final choices of fabric colours to create patchwork dress, to go with half finished silk painting.

Dulled pinks and dull brown with lilac seemed best combinations for the silk batik ground. The pink taffeta has a lilac sheen.

Choosing the pansy print as a co-ordinate allowed the addition of pansies in the silk painted design. This design didn’t really have a preconceived theme, only to use the nigella seed pod as a motif, and for the batik background experiment. Adding maroon silk seemed a good darker linking colour from the pansy print.

The green butterfly came from a photograph I took, and the red butterfly came from another printed fabric design.

Painted silk design result with co-ordinated fabrics chosen for dress.

Pansies added around seed pod design. Co-ordinating fabrics chosen.

Finished silk painting over batik with embroidery for added textural effect

Added embroidered lines on pansies give sparkly effect. Nigella seed pod is enhanced by dark seeds inside pod (arial view) and light embroidery on the pod ends. …The banana leaves would benefit from embroidery also.

Silk Painting ‘Nigella Butterflies’ made into dress centrepiece

Pink silk top – fabric co-ordinate taken from a blouse: colour is similar to the palest background in the logwood batik. Pink bodice top sewn to silk painting just under bust; simple overlap stitching. Original V-necked pink blouse was cut on the cross, so will stretch over varied bust fullness.

Fabric co-ordinate Brown cotton with lavender-pink design – added to bottom of silk painting, and usefully some dress parts could be utilised for armhole bands, as an additional design feature.

Front bodice Contrasting armhole band taken from neckline of co-ordinating fabric (dress). Pinned to pink silk bound edged armhole for stitching join by hand.

Back bodice – Contrasting armhole banding cut from back and underarm of co-ordinating fabric (dress).

Dressmaking process to be continued… August 2019

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