First Eco-Printing of the Season

Due to an extended vacation in Norway, I am late getting started on natural dyeing.  My dye plants were late getting planted.  And so I found myself at the beginning of July without having eco-dyed or printed.

To the rescue:  my younger sis, Shar, has been wanting to learn to eco-dye and print, so we scheduled a session last weekend.  Everything was set up here, and she scoured her T-shirts as directed.  When she arrived, we immediately mordanted her cotton clothing, allowing an hour or so for the process.  Yes, we could have used additional time, but we needed to get moving on the printing process.

I had previously prepared a pot of black walnut and pomegranate liquid, to which I added hot water and a pinch of logwood powder (Shar likes dark colors).  She rolled one shirt with fresh plant leaves only, using a bit of iron solution for dipping.  She rolled the second shirt shibori style with tiles, CD’s and other mark-makers.

We didn’t have all day to wait for the pot to do its magic, so I sent her home with the pot and instructions to leave all materials overnight. Results:


Giving New Life to Old Linens

This past natural dyeing season–that’s Spring, Summer and Fall in Chicago–went so quickly I scarcely had time to consider all that I dyed.  I created lots of hand-dyed scraps of natural cloth, including linen, silk and cotton.  Some of the cloth was for my personal story cloth making, and some of it was sold in my Etsy shop.

I also repurposed some old vintage linens, mostly hand towels and napkins.  Small pieces, some hand-embroidered by others many years ago.  There was nothing so wrong about the linens except that aging look and maybe a few pinholes.  I naturally dyed many pieces with madder, logwood, Fustic, mint leaves, chamomile, cutch and black walnut.

Huck towel shibori dyed (wrapped pipe)
Huck towel detail, shibori dyed logwood and Fustic

I enjoy looking at the special touches added to vintage linens back in the day: monograms and sweet embroidery stitches, scalloped edges, drawn work, and “hidden” texture.

Madder-dyed vintage linen napkins


Fustic dyed vintage  cotton hand towels

Next time:  Repurposed cloth Christmas “patchwork” gifts.

Super Moon Arises

Ever since super moon arrived awhile ago, I have been thinking about creating a Super Moon Cloth as part of the SunMoonStars Series.  But super moon has to be really spectacular, doesn’t it?

Super moon arises, a vintage tie-dye scrap
Super moon arises (vintage tie-dye scrap)
Super Moon arises amidst other planets and stars, including the Sun
Super Moon arises amidst other planets and stars, including the Sun

I found a background cloth of cotton batiste, which I had shibori-dyed with black walnut exhaust.  It’s got those nifty little planets roaming around the universe.

And then I found a scrap of cutch-dyed jersey, which looks like an excellent sun or star.  But wait a minute.  What is the difference between a “star” and a “sun”?  Cornell University states that a star is called a sun “…IF (my caps) it is the center of a planetary system.”  That’s in the beginner series for those who are astro-curious. And, of course, it’s much more complicated than that.  OK… I will need to be careful what I call my scraps of cloth.

A sun, or “the sun” or just another star (cutch dyed organic jersey scrap)
A sun, or “the sun” or just another star (cutch dyed organic jersey scrap)