Yesterday I went to the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria (not to be confused with the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria) to our monthly play day. The demonstration was of rust dyeing.
I took along some old rusted nails, a woodworking clamp, some other bits and pieces and some powdered rust that was in the containers.
We were told to bring a spray bottle with half and half water and vinegar but I only put the vinegar in because I could fill it with water when I got there. However, our demonstrators had done research from various sources and concluded that you could use pure vinegar if you preferred. So I did, just to see what would happen.
We dampened the fabric, put some rusty items on it, rolled it over, put more rusty items on it, rolled it over, etc. Then tied it with string. I sprayed it again to make sure it was damp all over.
The pieces of fabric were natural - cotton and silk, prepared for dye (washed to get the sizing off).
The fabric was then put into ziplock bags and left to do its thing.
It was recommended that we should keep the bag warm and occasionally open it to let air in because rusting happens well with oxygen.
I brought it home and put it on top of the heating vent, the current weather not being conducive to good brewing of the rust.
It was recommended that we leave it for several days but I could see that it was going well - and I was impatient. (After all, it is the 19th of the 19th!)
So here it is.
You can see some of the nail impressions, the screw part of the clamp, etc.
The fabric is actually a little darker than the images show. Some of the dye ran out when I rinsed it but not much.
Not sure what I will use the fabric for as the pieces are only very small. But now I know I can easily make more to go with them. So I'll put them aside for the time being and let ideas brew - a bit like the rust did.