Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eco dyeing paper

Today two of my friends and I got together to do some eco dyeing on paper. I have not done this before and don't usually work with paper, so it was a great learning day.
As it is spring and the mulberries are in fruit again, I took some with me. The turned out ok on the paper (you can see them on the final images).
The beauty of using paper is that there was no need to be using mordant. However, we did put eucalyptus leaves in the pot of water and I didn't ask why, so maybe it was to act as some sort of mordant.
We laid out paper, leaves and flowers, paper, leaves and flowers, etc. We then put them between tiles or pieces of wood. I used water colour drawing paper, 160gsm.

Then we tied them up tightly and put them into a pot of simmering water.
We left them for over an hour and then got to see the beautiful results.

The blue pattern at the top is from the purple flower in the second photo. The nasturtium flower is a pinkish image on the right. Gorgeous colour, just nothing like the actual flower. 

I am not sure what I will use the paper for but it was fun to do. Maybe I will prepare some fabric for dyeing and try it on cotton or silk too. Most of the plants we used are not substantive dyes, so I assume I will have to prepare the fabrics.
We had been going to try some sun dyeing but the sun was too unreliable today, after all that wonderful sunny weather last week. Oh well, summer is coming and there will be many more chances to try that.


mycamerandme365 said...

The papers look lovely Mary. You could photograph them or scan them before printing the image onto fabric......if you wanted to!

Mary said...

Thank you, I hand't thought of that, I haven't used my printer much for fabric. I did try quite a few years ago and it made the handle of the fabric quite different. But I am assured that there are much better products available now, so maybe I will have a look at that idea.
In the meantime, I may take advantage of the beautiful spring weather that has returned and see if I can do some sun dyeing. Soon.