Shibori rust dyeing pt 2

To give you a break from yet another eco printing experiment, I thought I’d share another shibori rust-dyed scarf with you.

rust onion scarf6

This scarf is made of a double layer of heavier silk (it’s actually a man’s evening scarf), so I thought it would be more robust than the very lightweight silk ponge scarf that I used last time.

I bound it with rusty screws, slightly more loosely than last time. Because the silk was thicker and double layered, the rust colour didn’t spread as far or as fast as last time. By the time I had finished binding the screws on the silk ponge, the scarf was already a rusty colour all over, whereas with this scarf there were only faint traces of colour.

I was also concerned that although there would be good colour on the side of the silk that touched the screws, the other side of the scarf would be too pale.

So after binding it I put the scarf into the pot containing the onion skins left over from dyeing the eggs, heated it up and left it for a few hours. Then I removed it and left it to cool overnight.

When I untied the scarf the next day, it looked very dark at first.

rust onion scarf1

But as it dried it became paler, and there was an obvious difference between the two sides of the scarf.

After drying, ironing, soaking in bicarbonate of soda, rinsing, drying, and ironing again, this was the final result.

rust onion scarf2 rust onion scarf3

You can that the presence of the iron screws darkened the colour quite significantly – it’s much less golden than the eggs were.

And the kumo shibori pattern on the side of the scarf that was in contact with the screws is paler with darker rust marks compared with the other side.

rust onion scarf4 rust onion scarf5

Which side do you prefer? I’m not sure. But I have a reversible rust-dyed scarf with no holes, so that’s a result. 😉

rust onion scarf7


Shibori rust dyeing

Long-term readers of this blog may remember that a couple of years ago our house was really badly flooded when the water tank in the loft overflowed while we were on holiday. 😦 We came back to a ghastly mess, but since then the house has been redecorated and we’ve got on with our lives.

Most of the water ended up in the cellar, and although we cleared out the items worst affected, most of the other stuff remained. This included some plastic drawers for storing nails and screws. ESP inherited these from my dad when he died, but as he doesn’t practise much DIY these days they see little use. 😉

As you can see, the rust on these is fairly spectacular (my dad would be turning in his grave if he could read this!). So I thought I’d use the screws to try out some rust dye shibori.

I dipped a silk scarf in vinegar and laboriously tied rusty screws of different sizes into the scarf. I left it on the windowsill outside for 24 hours, by which time it was a good rust colour, with the parts tied around the screws very dark brown.

It was equally laborious to untie the screws. Because I have to bind fabric very tightly when using the indigo vat to prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric, I used a similar technique here, but it was probably unnecessary. However, the results were pretty special.

This is what it looked like immediately after untying.

rust shibori kumo1 rust shibori kumo2

The wonderful peaks created a great shape, but sadly I couldn’t retain these. After leaving it to dry I pressed the scarf to set the colour, then soaked it in bicarbonate of soda, washed it in shampoo and rinsed it. Interestingly, more colour came out this time than with my previous scarf – maybe I should have left it to cure for longer?

rust shbori kumo6 rust shibori kumo3 rust shibori kumo4 rust shibori kumo5 rust shibori kumo7 rust shibori kumo8

The reason I didn’t want to leave it any longer before neutralising was because there were a few tiny holes in the silk this time (unlike last time). This may have been because some of the rusty screws had quite sharp edges, or because I accidentally made holes when removing the binding. But it could have been due to the rust actually eating through the cloth.

I can’t sell this scarf with holes in it, so I will need to do further experimentation to see if this is a viable commercial technique. Maybe with a less delicate fabric, or leaving it for less time.

But it gives me an excuse to keep it for myself! I wonder what dad would say. 😉


More success with eco printing

You may remember that my last experiment with eco printing was not a huge success. Since then I’ve acquired a copy of India Flint’s book Eco Colour, so I thought I’d have another go.

I found a beautiful rusted pipe on the street – perfect for bundling up a scarf. So I soaked a silk scarf in vinegar, dipped yellow and red onion skins and eucalyptus leaves into vinegar and laid them on top. Then I rolled the whole lot around the pipe, tied it with string and left it in a plastic bag on the windowsill outside for 10 days.

I was intending to leave it for a month, but suffered from the usual problem – impatientitis. 🙂 There seemed to be a lot of dark colour developing, so this morning I could wait no longer and unwrapped it.

ecoprint pipeecoprint pipe end

Here is the whole scarf, with the pipe to one side. You can clearly see the rust patterns at the ends (these were on the inside, closest to the pipe). The pink bits were actually from the yellow onion skins rather than the red ones, which went black. The orange shapes that are not rust were the eucalyptus leaves.

eco print scarf

Here are some close up shots.

ecoprint close1 ecoprint close2 ecoprint rust1 ecoprint rust2

The scarf is now drying in the airing cupboard – I’ll leave it for a few days before washing it and keep my fingers crossed that I don’t lose too much colour!

Giveaway winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for the silk shibori scarf – it was lovely to read all your kind comments.

Without further ado, the random number generator picked 17 – so the winner is Karla Schmidt.

Congratulations Karla! I’ve sent you an email – please respond within 48 hours with your postal address so that I can send you your prize.