Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dyeing to Print II: Solar dyes

......and even easier than Hapa Zome ecoprinting is the technique of Solar Dyeing. This is done with a natural fabric, your leaves, flowers, seeds, berries etc, water and sealable jars, and you need plenty of patience because this technique requires time to brew. It feels a bit witchy, having potions on my deck in the sun.

India Flint, guru of Eco-printing suggests this technique. Put your fabric into a jar, clean or not because whatever was in there before may make an interesting mordant. Squash in your leaves etc and cover with water. Add an extra mordant if you want, then seal it up and leave it in the sun for some time. 

In the small jar on the left I have cotton mull, screwed up tight and wound with string to hopefully create some variation in pattern. This potion contains NZ flax pods and seeds, crushed, and a tea bag for mordant. In the jar on the right, I have unbleached calico folded with morning glory flowers in between layers, then more morning glory flowers crushed on top. For a mordant I used alum. Both jars are filled with rain water. I took this photo the same day I put the mix down, already you can see a lot of dye extracted. India doesn't say exactly how long, but I'm choosing to leave mine for at least one month (I can only resist the temptation of opening them earlier by leaving the country!). 

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