Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Silk & Seals

In November I took a photo of seals on the pier in Santa Cruz. It was sunset and the light was shiny on their silver blue bodies, the reflection of an orange sky was such a lovely contrast. Yesterday I dyed silk organza in indigo, using a shibori technique of pole wrapping.  When I pulled the pleated silk out of the dye pot it reminded me of the seals. The blue over a chocolate brown, blending from one color to the other in the light. This is why I am attracted to natural dyes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dyeing Silk with Sour Grass

After the rains we have plenty of sour grass growing around in San Jose. Today I decided to do some dyeing. I used the recipe in Sasha Duerr's book, The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes. White silk organza and a few silk charmeuse scarfs were soaked overnight in alum and cream of tartar. The fabrics came out florescent yellow. I put some cotton and linen test strips in the pot also. After soaking in the dye pot overnight, I washed them in water and gentle soap; the bright yellow turned to an olive green during the rinsing. The cotton and linen that had no mordant stayed yellow.