Okay…so years ago I dyed fabric a few times, but found it to be entirely too much work and mess. I gave it up.
Then I ran across a way to dye fabric with acrylic paints. Not so messy. Lots of creative opportunities there, too. And, I stuck with that a little better. And, I enjoyed the “less mess” part.
Then, my sister bought me a fabric “rust starter kit”. Now, that was cool! I still love that idea of rusting fabrics. And, not a lot of people get that…lol It’s okay though…
But, in pursuit of understanding this “slow cloth” movement, I ran across some interesting ideas about dying fabric “naturally”.
So with what little muslin I had left, I cut it up into rough measurements of fat quarters and fat eighth pieces.
I dyed the first few pieces with my acrylic paints; trying to use some of them up. I didn’t want to waste those paints in my pursuit of “natural” dying. I feel like that would kinda defeat the purpose somewhat-of to reuse, recycle, and/or re-purpose. So those fabrics turned out really great! I took one and rusted the snot out of it with vinegar, and steel wool wrapped up in it. That does speed the process of rusting up quite a bit.
Then, I had strawberries in the fridge. They were approaching their time to be thrown away, so I chopped them up, added water to them and cooked until a boil. Then I let it simmer for about an hour. Next, they went outside to dry in the grass. I love the way the grass etchings sort of echo in the fabric. I should say weeds…We have no grass. LOL
Next I cooked up some blueberries that I had in the freezer (just a small amount). Instead of throwing the berries away-this time I laid them out throughout the fabric-hoping for some cool splotches of color. I wasn’t disappointed.
Prior to the natural dying, I soaked the fabrics in a dye set solution bath for about an hour or so.
When I fabric dye I like it simple, so typically I will just do simple twists and knots, or use rusty wire, or rubber bands to add to the texture of the dyed fabric laying in the grass.
I am pleased with my fabrics today.
AND…BONUS!!! I have been searching the web about slow cloth, and one place leads me to another and so on…I was curious how the weave was being done on the base of the cloth. I found out how. It was an amazing video to watch. I would share the path that led me there–but that would be impossible as one thing led to another and I have no clue where or how I got there. lol
SO…I am excited to be starting my slow cloth piece. I’m thinking that a 2×2 ft project might be the right size to start with. Maybe a bit larger…I have committed to a size just yet.