Last week I spent several hours playing, such fun, with a couple of friends. We played with 'rust dyeing' on paper.
It took me ages to realise that we weren't actually going to use rust! Silly me. Maybe this is why I can never get fabric to do good rust dyeing. I have been using rusty items rather than chemicals that will react together.
We used tea bags - 50 0f them! A bath of caustic soda, another of ferrous sulphate and one of copper sulphate. We had various types of paper and dipped them in the different baths. It was fascinating to see the effects the chemicals had on each other.
It was a perfect day to be doing this, lovely warm sunshine - not your usual August weather at all. It has been very spring-like lately. The birds were singing loudly before 6.00 this morning - I heard them and turned over and went back to sleep!
Eventually we used some fabric. As the caustic soda wouldn't be good with the fabric, we quickly dipped it in and out!
I am not sure what I will ever do with the papers but it was a fun day. And one of the household members thinks that the papers could be very good for miniature work - as in dolls' house miniature, 1/12th size. I will wait with bated breath to see what eventuates. Or not.
As I have forgotten most of what we learnt about dyeing in our Textiles and Design Course, I have just looked up some of the ingredients we used. It turns out that tannin (tea bags) is a mordant, as are ferrous sulphate and copper sulphate. So our paper and fabric should be fine - not that I know what I might use them for. I looked up caustic soda and was a bit taken aback about the warnings. Fortunately we had been careful and no adverse effects have been noted.
Who cares what I am going to use the paper and fabric for? We had a lovely social and creative day. And who knows, I may even use them some day. Something to add to the stash, as if it needed adding to.