Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bugs Part 2, on Natty Linen Indio

One of my sweet mama friends sent me a glorious old Didymos Natty Linen Indio to pretty up. It was a pre-middle marker and double linen thread wrap...Oh the beauty...I almost felt guilty putting color on it, but it really was the perfect canvas for the beautiful colors that come from the natural dye Cochineal. Now I had just completed a cochineal dye job on a natty wool indio, and was sort of expecting similar results...But alas, wool behaves differently than linen...So our adventure into the pink waters began...

 here we have the NLI simmering in the dye pot with strained cochineal extract, and on the other burner more bugs were simmering away...releasing their beautiful colors...

 Here I scrunched the fabric into a container so it could sit overnight in the mixture of cochineal and Alum.
So after 24 hours in the container, they went for several hot rinses with synthrapol
Beautiful shades of pink so far, but we were after more depth of color. So, the dye extract got boiled up again, adding more bugs each time.
 Now we were making progress!!! I also added 2 Tums to the dye pot...adding chalk to our hard water definitely increased the depth of color and brought out the rosiness of the red dye extract.
 Hanging to dry overnight.
And here it was dry, in all its perfect pink glory!

 Lots of subtle mottling throughout, much like a watercolor painting,

As I always do, I messaged my friend with the progress pictures and anxiously awaited a yay or nay. I felt like it was the perfect girly pink, but I was willing to give it one more night in the dye bath! She was thrilled and gave 2 thumbs up. So I went about steam ironing it, twice, haha. Which I always do with linen since it tends to feel more beastly after its been hung to dry.
I think Cochineal is my favorite pink dye now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bugs you say?

Yes Bugs...Cochineal to be exact. Here you can read all about them go on, click the link. I'll wait...
I buy my bugs from Aurora Silk. I purchased them whole the first time around...after spending many, many days boiling these creatures, I've decided to buy ground cochineal next time...
that's what they look like when they first go in...boil..then let it sit overnight...Who knew a french press was going to come in handy! So 24 hours later the bug mixture went back into the pot and boiled for an hour. Meanwhile I had a piece of Natty Wool Indio that had been mordanting in Alum for 24 hours and it was ready to throw into the dye pot. The french press came in handy once again...had to make sure all the little bug bits and pieces were strained..
It was an absolutely stunning shade of pink!!! I also did some silk scarves, as I always test dye colors on various fabric samples.

I was absolutely pleased at how soft and perfect this pink NWI turned out!! I sent it to my good pal Jess at Shiny Star Designs. She made a ringsling out of it. A Perfect pairing! ironic metamorphosis

A sweet friend of mine sent me a Natibaby Pink silk butterflies recently. Beautiful cloth...but it was a big too beige for her liking. I could appreciate that, I had pink silk butterflies when they were first released, and churned them right away...way too beige for my liking...

So we talked about stripping off that nasty beige...

Hmm still a bit beige and the pink went back into the stripper it went...
ah now we were making progress...looks like a lemon meringue pie almost...
This is gorgeous!!! Now I almost had wished I had hoarded my pink silk butterflies...who knew they'd strip to such a delicious buttery yellow? it was time to toss these butterflies into the dye pot...First try, was a bit too peachy..
But not to worry, nothing a little Jacquard Hot Fuschia and Pink couldn't take care of...

Stay tuned...more to come...the ironic part will be when this ends up looking just like it did to begin with ;) haha...No, its much different now...Dry pics in good lighting to come...
Waiting to hear back for approval...or not haha

Well, things don't always go as planned, especially when it comes to dyeing textiles. Once again, these butterflies got another make-over. 

So what do you think? drastic improvement from the original beige.
Old New
I love it!!         

Sunday, March 4, 2012

All things Indigo

Pick up an Indigo Kit from Dharma. It is loads of fun!!! It has everything you need in it, except for dye blanks...
I picked up an Indigo Kit from my local craft store over the summer. It was on their clearance shelf for under 2 bucks...You'll need a bucket and a stick to stir...good ole yard stick works well...
So here is the "flower" which you'll skim off and set aside for future Indigo goodness...
And here is a random collection of various things that have been put in that bucket.

 Some Onesies I had leftover from the babies.
 Some Organic Bamboo Velour (OBV)

some linen yardage I picked up from Joanns. Notice the greenish Indigo hits the air it oxidizes turning from green to blue...Neat stuff!

Some random swatches of Didymos wraps...Teviot and Pink wooly dots
More random swatches...

 A play silk from Dharma...
Some gorgeous wool yarn

Went to the yarn store...
a sample of hemp silk delicious

 reinvigorated the vat again...pretty flower!
 Practicing a Shibori Arashi technique.
some gorgeous mohair yarn

I also decided to try painting on Indigo'd yardage, this is Jacquard Lumiere "Indigo"
And this was a linen ringsling, just plain ole white. It needed a makeover.
I really love how it turned out. I keep it in the car and we use it for errands. 

well, there is a lot more to share...come back soon y'hear?