Dyeing Silk with Brazilwood Shavings

8 05 2017

My friend and master violin bow maker Lee Guthrie gave me some shavings from Brazilian Pernambuco wood, which makes a stunning crimson red dye. Known as Brazilwood by dyers and favored by bow makers, it’s also an historically important dye material. The name for the country of Brazil is actually shortened from Terra do Brasil “land of brazilwood”, since it was so important to the economy. Brazilwood dye can also refer to a related Asian species of Caesalpinia or Sappanwood. See the Wikipedia entry for more background information.

img_0156

Simmering Brazil wood shavings

img_0485

Shades of red from Brazilwood dye

To make the dye, I poured boiling water over a big handful and let it sit overnight. I soon discovered that it’s a very strong dye, so I removed some shavings and simmered the rest for about 1 hour. The silk scarves were pre-mordanted with alum, then brought to a simmer, turned off and cooled overnight. Shavings can be dried and used again for lighter shades. Iron darkened the color to a burgundy. Eco printing with leaves was done after dyeing.

img_0254

Silk Scarf dyed with Brazilwood and eco printed with local leaves

img_0319

Brazilwood dyed silk scarf with iron


*  View my available scarves in the Eco Print section of my ETSY SHOP. *


Advertisements




Eco Printing with Tropical Leaves

4 03 2017

At the end of January I again had the opportunity to combine a winter vacation with eco printing in Mexico. I stayed at my Minnesota friends’ house in Puerto Morelos (a small beachfront town just south of Cancun) in exchange for sharing some new techniques I’ve learned in the past year with their Mexican artisan friend, Angelica. We built on what we learned last year about some of the local plants that print well, and added some natural dyes to the mix. We tried using the local tropical almond tree leaves for a dyebath, which gave a beautiful gold color. Here are a few images from the mini-workshop.  I especially love the unknown vine that was easy to find and printed up nicely, with and without iron.

img_0593

mexicoecoprint

img_0543



*  View my available scarves in the Eco Print section of my ETSY SHOP. *






Indigo and Eco Printing Workshop with Pia Best-Reininghaus

25 02 2017

Here are some images from a great workshop I took with Pia Best-Reininghaus, assisted by her daughter Maria, on combining eco printing with Indigo dye. Robbin Firth of Heartfelt Silks in Hudson, Wisconsin organized the workshop and it was held at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has a great dye lab. Fall 2016 workshop.

We dyed and printed on cellulose fibers (viscose rayon, cotton & linen) as well as silk, incorporating rusty iron for some stunning results.

Here are a few of my favorite results, indigo dyed and eco printed leaves on rayon, cotton and silk:

This was a good introduction to indigo dyeing for me, only the second time I had access to an indigo vat. I ended up taking home some of the leftover indigo dye. After finding a big used pot with a burner so I could heat it up outside, I was able to revive the indigo and dyed more scarves and fabric, plus tried some Shibori folding techniques.

The vat froze pretty solid over the winter in my garage here in Minnesota, so I’ll see if I can revive it when it warms up. No idea if that’s possible! This leftover vat used thiox and soda ash.  I dislike the strong chemical smell of thiox/Rit Color Remover, so when I mix up my own vat from scratch next time I’ll try Michel Garcia’s organic fermented vat 1-2-3 technique.


*  Visit the Eco Print section of my ETSY SHOP. *


 





Eco Print Workshop with Irit Dulman

9 11 2016

Fusion of Botanical Print and Natural Dyeing.  

I am SO behind on updating my eco printing blog!  Better late than never… I attended two wonderful eco printing workshops this past summer and fall. The first was with Irit Dulman, a master eco printer who lives in Israel, at the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island in Washington in June 2016.  She’s a master eco printer with the artistic eye of a designer, who seems to keep experimenting with new techniques.

I was able to combine my trip to Washington with a mini-college roommate reunion, since one lives only about an hour north of the art school. Here are some images of the workshop. Click on an image to see a larger view.  If you ever have the opportunity to take a workshop with Irit, go for it!  I learned so much.

Irit Dulman workshop

Some of my results:
Natural dyes: Logwood, Indigo, Cochineal and Weld
Leaves: Smokebush, Japanese maple, Sumac, Horse chestnut, etc.



** View available scarves in the Eco Print section of my ETSY SHOP.**









%d bloggers like this: