Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Another Question about Rust Dyeing

Via email I received a question about using a natural dye bath on silk after rust dyeing. Here is my answer:
Most natural dye recipes are for cotton and recommend boiling the fabric for an hour. Those high temperatures will kill the sheen of the silk. In my humble opinion, that luster is what silk is all about.
Here is the "cool dyeing method" from the book, "Wild Color" by Jenny Dean.
1. Extract the dye from its source
(for those of you who have the Rust-Tex Instructional CD follow the instructions for "Make Sumac Juice" )
2. Cool it to room temperature
3. Add the silk
(If you make sure there is enough water in your dye bath to cover the silk without it being scrunched up you will get and even color over your entire piece. If you want to add interest to your piece crumple it up, tie dye it, clamp it or use low water dyeing techniques.)
4. Leave it for 24 hours
5. If after 24 hours it is not dark enough you can leave it longer, up to several days.
(Be sure to remove it before the natural dye bath gets moldy. Ask me how I know!!!)
Iron is a mordant and will make your colors darker in any area that are dyed with it.
No picture today...sigh...


Carole said...

Hi Lois. I am really enjoying your blog. I can only find 20 guage copper wire at Home Depot and I know you call for 24...does it matter? Thanks, Carole

Lois Jarvis said...

It doesn't matter at all!!! Thicker wire gives you more seperation between the black lines formed when using the trees technique.

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