Saturday, October 19, 2013

Natural Dyes...

Had some fun this week experimenting with natural dyes on cotton lace for a mixed media jewelry piece. Have never worked with natural dyes before so I contacted KathyInOzarks who forwarded some great tips and simple steps for beginners. Here are examples of my results using strawberries, cranberries and coffee.

 
 
To get these results I started by preparing a fixative that the lace would need to be soaked in before dying. The fixative helps the fabric maintain color after dying. For the berry dyes I used a fixative made from 1/2 cup of salt mixed with 8 cups of boiling water. For the coffee I tried vinegar mixed with water. The lace was boiled on the stove for about an hour and then dropped into the various dye bathes for 4-5 hours.
 
 
 
For the first dye batch I used equal parts of chopped strawberries to water and boiled them for 1 hour. Then I strained out the berries and soaked the lace in the remaining liquid for about 5 hours at a low boil.
 
 
 
The top two strips of lace you see in the first photo are my results, kind of a light antique pink color. O.K., this is nice but I was hoping for something a little darker so I thought perhaps I would try a second dip in cranberries. After the second five hour dye bath using cranberries I got a surprise; the wider strip of lace actually rinsed out lighter while the thinner strip of lace turned a deeper brown (3rd and 4th lace strips in the first photo) -Not exactly sure what happened but I did get some new colors...
 
That was fun! For more information and natural dyes to try check out: http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-to-dye-fabric-clothes-make-natural-dyes/
 
Also be sure to look for some of this lace ribbon in my upcoming jewelry piece for One Kiss Creation's Vintage Wooden Spool Rolling Blog Hop.
 
 
Enjoy Your Saturday!


9 comments:

  1. oh cool! the cranberry turned out pinker-and I always love the coffee or tea dyed-always fun! looking forward to seeing your piece

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the details here, and the lace results, hmmm strawberries. Recently I have been dying plain old paper and yesterday used marigold leaves and WOW a great colour.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this idea Lisa -- I've used tea on muslin before with great results. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. that is so cool! love this idea .... and can't wait to see what you do with Christine's spools :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a soft spot for dying at home as you know! So I especially appreciate this post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ooo, I really like the thinner strips of the coffee and the cranberry. What a fun experiment. And great results. Cannot wait to see how you incorporate these and the spools :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. How fun is this?! The natural dyes must make the house smell amazing too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is interesting, Lisa. Thanks for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks, I really enjoy hearing from you!