As the new eco-print and natural dyeing season approaches in Chicago, I have begun to focus on incorporating last season’s eco-printed fabric to my current wardrobe. One special piece continues to attract my attention. This was a scrap of silk which I eco-dyed with eucalyptus and rose leaves.
I gave serious thought about how I might use this piece to its best advantage. In the meantime, I remembered I had purchased organic cotton jersey, which I had used to make a few scarves.
This silk scrap seemed to go better with my purchased fabric. I am thinking of a tunic. The fabric needs to be washed first. I also found some naturally-dyed lace from last season, and if I decide to go ultra-feminine, there might be some lace added as well. Stay tuned!
This hot summer and intermittent rain has given us lush foliage in Chicago, so on the order of making hay while the sun shines, I decided to do more eco-printing and up-cycling of cellulose fibers this past week.
First up, my Mom gave me her old Jones, NY 100% cotton T-top and asked if I could “do something with it.” There were a few old food stains and some tiny blood spots, so why not try? Generally, the items I eco-print with the intent of up-cycling tend to be light colored tops that just need a dash of color. I had never before tried to dye a stained item.
I went ahead and scoured the top in Synthrapol, then mordanted it with alum acetate. And after rinsing again, I proceeded to lay out some leaves, including rose leaves, milkweed and loropetalum. After an hour or two of boiling, and an overnight rest, I was delighted with the results. My mom is tickled pink!
In the same pot, I eco-printed an old Hanro long-sleeved undershirt (100% cotton) that I wear in winter. I used the same scour and mordant process as above, but layered the shirt with false indigo (the yellow), some geranium and rose leaves. Again, very pleased!
Finally, I made myself a long skirt last week in 100% organic cotton jersey but had some leftover cloth when I trimmed the hem. Perfect for an infinity scarf! Scoured, mordanted and eco-printed with mostly geranium leaves.
I am having way too much fun without spending any money. I love it!!!