Mustard Week Part III

Today’s piece should be titled “How to Ruin Perfectly Good Shibori.”  I used bamboo again, I just love the way it takes dye and I love the way it ties in, materially speaking, with the shibori method.

After folding and clamping itajime-style, I soaked the entire piece in lavender for almost six hours.  I was reading about using whole leaves and flowers inside a scarf or fabric so that the leaves “printed” themselves onto the piece.

So I grabbed some (red and brown) leaves from my backyard, placing them on the bamboo scarf then folding and tying it, trying to keep the same geometric areas that were created with the lavender itajime.

I left the entire piece to steep overnight, excited to see the leaf shapes combine with the itajime.  Uh….that did not happen.  Instead, I got these little splotches of brown and red, looking like someone had come over and spilled some kind of weird goop onto a perfectly fine scarf.  Oh well.  I’m chalking this one up to experience and moving on. The only thing worth repeating, in my opinion, is the diagonal itajime folding.

Itajime with lavender and leaves on bamboo, detail
Itajime with lavender and leaves on bamboo, detail

 

Mustard Week Part II

Here is my second piece using the mustard weed as the primary dye.  I used yesterday’s dye mixture combined with a bit more “fresh” mustard weed.  I believe the more muted, butterscotch color may have been a result of using this diluted mixture, or perhaps it’s due to the different fabric that I used today (100% cotton), but you never know, right?

Itajime with mustard weed and lavender
Itajime with mustard weed and lavender

I reversed the dyeing process here, first dyeing the entire piece with lavender before “bleaching” it with soda ash, then overdyeing with the mustard.

Mustard Week I

Over the weekend, I was cleaning out my garage (just because it is SO FUN–ugh) and I found an entire garbage bag filled with mustard weed flowers that I had harvested in the spring.  There is a gigantic empty lot near my place that gets covered in beautiful yellow mustard weed flowers every year. And then, when the flowers are at their peak, the city comes and mows them all down.  🙁

So this year, I decided to harvest some of the flowers and use them for…something (remember my “about” page where I said I hoard stuff?).  When I found the bagful on Sunday, I knew I had my dye for the week.  YAY!

So without further ado, here is my first attempt.  I employed a traditional arashi method using the mustard weed mixture.  Then I overdyed this with a combo of dried lavender and misc green leaves from my backyard trees, using itajime to get the triangular areas (if you want more info on these methods, see my “shibori primer” pages here).

Akashi on cotton with mustard weed, lavender, and leaves
Arashi on cotton with mustard weed, lavender, and leaves
Mustard weed arashi detail
Mustard weed arashi detail

 

Dots & Circles I

Modified miura detail
Modified miura detail

I attempted a modification of  “miura” stitching in one of my iced aqua pieces. In traditional  miura, a crochet-like hook is used to pull and loop tiny sections of fabric to create a dotted texture.

For this piece, instead of using a crochet hook, I used small pearl-like beads, stitching them to the fabric, thinking that the bead would act as a resist.

The results were interesting, but not as evenly resisted as when using thread and a hook.  I might try this “modified miura” method again on its own, but I’m thinking I’d rather combine this method with another method, hopefully yielding a more interesting effect.

Modified miura iced aqua silk
Modified miura iced aqua silk

“Iced Aqua” Dyeing

For awhile now, I have been looking for a natural or edible material to create an aqua, or turquoise, dye.  I read online somewhere that making an ice bath of indigo yields a more turquoise-like blue.

So today, I tried it.

I blended indigo with “marigold indigo” in a bath of iced water.  The ice, plus the addition of the marigold indigo, created this really pretty aqua.  It was so nice that I decided to use the leftovers to help my boring tea-and-indigo dyed bamboo scarf (see yesterday’s post).

FYI, this photo was taken as the pieces were drying, so I’m pretty sure the color will fade slightly as it dries.

Bamboo scarf with two small iced aqua silks in front
Bamboo scarf with small iced aqua silks in front
Arashi-like Aqua Silk (arashi="storm")
Arashi-like Aqua Silk
(arashi=”storm”)
Drying aqua silk detail
Drying aqua silk detail
Aqua-dyed silk detail
Aqua-dyed silk detail

Tea-Dyed Nightmare–Redeemed?

Today I attempted to redeem my horrifically B-O-R-I-N-G tea-dyed bamboo scarf.  As you remember from the previous post, it looked like this:

tea & indigo dyed bamboo scarf on drying rack
tea & indigo dyed bamboo scarf on drying rack

Blahsville.

 

So today, I decided, at the last minute, to use up the rest of my “iced aqua” dye (see next post) and play around with this thing.  First, I made a bath of warm soda ash (not edible!!!  but natural, made from seaweed), re-folded and clamped it, and dunked it in.  I am not very scientific, but I’m thinking it was in there for about 7 minutes.

 

I then unfolded it, rinsed it, and dunked it into my “iced aqua” dye bath.  Here it is drying on the rack:

Iced aqua bamboo scarf
Iced aqua bamboo scarf
Redeemed scarf detail
Redeemed scarf detail

It seems like the soda ash bath turned the dark parts even darker while “bleaching” out enough of the fabric to make room for the aqua.  What do you think–did I redeem it or not?

Tea Dyeing: Part II

I finished my tea-stained shibori pieces today.  I used the tea stain as the base color, overdyeing/resisting using a dark indigo.  The organza piece turned out quite beautifully:

tea & indigo dyed organza on the drying rack
tea & indigo dyed organza on the drying rack
organza detail
organza detail

However, the bamboo scarf looks distinctly…unbeautiful:

tea & indigo dyed bamboo scarf on drying rack
tea & indigo dyed bamboo scarf on drying rack
bamboo scarf detail
bamboo scarf detail

I hate the way that my little square resists DID NOT RESIST!  All the lovely cream-colored tea dye went away.  I believe I need to crank down the clamping even tighter, although it was amazingly tightly clamped, let me just say.  I am going to re-work this piece–at this point, I can’t make it worse!

The Easy Way Out: Dyeing with Tea

Yes, I took the easy way out for my first shibori edible dyeing project, electing to use tea as the main colorant. Yep, just plain ol’ ordinary, in my case Trader Joes English Breakfast, tea. It was easy to simply save the bags from my afternoon tea for a few days and go for it.  I didn’t even take it out of the little bag, just placed the used tea bags on the stove with some water and two pieces for my dyeing project–a piece of silk organza (my very fave) and a bamboo scarf from Dharma Trading. You can see that the tea took to the different fabrics VERY differently–the bamboo fabric, folded on the upper right, is a pretty cream while the organza that’s being ironed here is almost tobacco-colored.  Same pot of water, same amount of time to steep (overnight).two tea stains

Finished shibori pieces, plus a few extras where I took the technique further, will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned!