Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Solar Dyeing

I have lusted for India Flint's book, "Eco Colour" for a while, and I finally purchased it.
What a wonderful book - so full of interesting ideas for getting color from plants.
Her focus is on using non-toxic mordants and the heat of the sun to transfer color from plants onto fabric.

India Flint is from Australia, so much of her work is done with Eucalyptus - which is not growing here in Montana. I have been researching native plants, and have begun my own research. Above, I am working with yarrow. Below, is burdock and mint.

For Solar Dyeing, I have soaked silk and cotton fabrics in either alum or vinegar, then they are rolled up with plant materials into a tight bundle.


I have stuffed the bundles into glass jars or plastic containers and put them out in the sun. Each is labeled with a date and the ingredients.

Some of these have been sitting out for a month now and are starting to show signs of color on the fabrics. I plan to leave them out until late August, when I will remove them and allow them to dry while still bundled.

Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Love this post : ) I have jars all over my backyard with natural materials and fabric in them too : ) they've been in the pot since June 27 and thought I'd wait till ?? maybe August 27 ?? lucky, lucky you to have India's book, I've been waiting and waiting for it to be re-released and now the latest QA says that it won't be till Sept : ( can't wait : )
thank you for answering the paper slury ?, I have looked up on the net ++ loooked at some videos on making paper but haven't tried it myself YET - thanks again : )
Blessings, Sandra in AZ

Carol said...

Looks more fun than canning!

iNdi@ said...

thank you for your kind words about the book...and while i do mostly use eucalyptus when at home [cos that's what's available] when roaming the whirled i use whatever is to hand
provided it's a windfall
i've become very cautious about picking in the wild - because even if the first harvester is restrained, wild dyes seem to have a snowball effect - suddenly everyone is out there "only taking 10%" and you can see what's going to happen.
lucky you to have a private wild hillside where you can make balanced decisions about "how much to take of what"
i travel with a tiny electric cauldron so i can brew up whatever i find whether i'm staying with friends or in a helltell.
happy dyeing!
best wishes