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Eco Printing and Dyeing  RSS feed

 
Dreama Blankenbeckler
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I do eco printing and dyeing. I am wondering if anyone else out there is also doing this kind of art work. It could also be considered crafty.

For those who don't know what I am talking about, this is one of the things I do:

I take printmaking paper and cut to size to fit an old crockpot or stainless steel pot 3/4 full of rainwater/spring water or at least, filtered water. We'll call that "good water." I have a bucket with good water and a teaspoon of alum (like you get in the spice dept in the grocery store used for canning). Soak the paper for 30 min. Then, lay leaves, flowers, berries, slices of veggies on the paper. It helps if you have saved a few rusty nails or other found objects in a glass jar of vinegar for a week or two). You could dip the leaves and flowers into the rusty solution and then put them on the paper. Lots of info on the net....
When you have the paper (or silk or wool) ready, roll it tight around a stick or wooden dowel and tie it something like a smudge stick with cotton string or twine. Then, simmer it for an hour or two...depending on whether it's paper or silk or wool or linen. After cooking and cooling it, open it up and get a great surprise! Takes some practice and notetaking...but loads of fun.

These are pictures of my paper prints. Post your prints! I have photos of fabric too, if anyone is interested. You can dump the leaves and dye vat outside...no worries....unless it's black walnut dye..then, it could kill your plants I hear that..not sure. I use precautions..like never use cooking utensils or pans for natural dyeing. Wear gloves when handling alum or iron.
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Found rusty fence staple with birch leaves at the top and sage at the bottom
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You can pretty much see the plants here. Sometimes you can see images of plant fairies too. :)
 
Fred King
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way cool! Could you use your system to make one of kind t shirts? I know  shirts are not high value art but these would be special and if you wanted l think could be very marketable.
 
Dreama Blankenbeckler
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Cotton works. I have done a few for friends and teens i know. I would need a market. Not sure. I do silk, linen and wool clothing. Upcycled. Have a consignment deal.
 
Rara Matthews
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Location: Oxford, England
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Hi, I do eco printing and dye my handmade garments all with natural dyes, have a look at some of my work here if you like - I use a lot of waste scraps and plants from around the garden and only use natural fibres: www.etsy.com/shop/ethicallifestore
 
Dreama Blankenbeckler
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Rara, I love your colors! wow. Very beautiful. I have not done much out right dyeing except with tumeric, tea, walnuts, and avocado skins. Mostly I do plant prints on existing clothing. I will look to see what I can share. I don't have a website really.
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r ranson
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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Beautiful work.

For those who do this with cloth, do you mordant the cloth first?  What do you use for mordant?
 
Dreama Blankenbeckler
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Rar...I use a couple of things as mordants. Mostly I use alum. I can buy little containers in the spice section at most grocery store. Some folks use  aluminum cookin pots to  simmer their plants and fabrics. Iron can work. I make a solution of vinegar and rusty items. I dip the plants in the "iron" solution. Some folks dye using the ocean. Salt can be a fixative....and vinegar of course. But research is imperative. Some plants don't need mordants at all. And, mordants can change the colors...copper brightens. Iron mutes. Etc.
 
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