Update on ecoprinted/rust dyed scarf

After yesterday’s post about my ecoprinted and rust dyed scarf, I had a couple of queries/comments about washing and colour fastness.

I ironed the scarf when it was dry to help set the colour, and noticed that the areas that showed as bright pink in the photos yesterday were much less bright. I was intending to leave the scarf for a couple of days before washing it, but then I read on this blog by Kimberley Packwood Baxter that I needed to neutralise the rust by soaking the scarf in water with bicarbonate of soda.

So I did that this morning – the soaking removed the crusty bits of rust that were attached to the scarf, but I didn’t lose much colour. Then I rinsed it, washed it with a bit of shampoo and rinsed again – still very little colour loss.

rust scarf1

Interestingly, now that it’s dry and ironed again, I can see the bits that were previously pink have changed to an olive green – would be interesting to find out why this is. Is it due to oxidation, or to the change in pH?

rust scarf 2 rust scarf3

Also, the outlines of some of the onion skins can be seen very clearly.

rust scarf4 rust scarf5 rust scarf6

I’m hugely excited by this technique – though it could be beginner’s luck (well, second-timer’s luck). I think the rusty pipe is acting as a mordant as well as providing the rust colour.

Already the next scarf is wrapped up and rusting gently on the windowsill – and I’ve acquired two more rusty bits of metal from building sites I was walking past. 🙂

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

7 thoughts on “Update on ecoprinted/rust dyed scarf”

  1. It’s beautiful and I always find it interesting how the colors change with natural dyeing processes. I’m looking forward to more of your experiments 🙂

    1. Not sure ESP is quite so happy about the bits of rusty metal picked up in the street and plastic bags lying around on the windowsill. “It gets worse!” was one of his more repeatable comments. 😉

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