Showing posts with label dye. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dye. Show all posts

Easy Shibori Tie Dye Techniques -- Book Review & Holiday Gift Ideas


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have to say I miss my Crafty Weekends (and Sharing Saturdays). I always loved seeing what people were sharing at different blogs. However Google changed how it rated such things and made link parties a bad thing. As I reminisce about Crafty Weekends I thought I would share a fun craft book today. The book is Easy Shibori Tie Dye Techniques: Do-It-Yourself Tying, Folding and Resist Dyeing by Studio TAC Creative. This is more of an adult craft but with adult help older kids could try it.

Fabric Fun! Natural Dye and Tie Die -- Crafty Weekends Fun and Link Party

This week we have been having fun with fabric and dye. Back in 2012, we experimented with sun dyeing wool yarn with various natural items. However Hazel really does not remember any of it and she inherited my wool allergy, so we never did anything with the yarn. I thought it would be fun to dye some cotton fabric and let her try it again. I also bought a tye die kit earlier this summer and have been wanting to let her try it. So this week we did natural sun dyeing and tie dyeing. 

Natural Dyeing Part 3

Ok, this is really from my second day of experimenting with dyes and techniques, but it is the third post since I already posted Day 1 and Day 3. On this day we did some experimenting. I tried to make the process easier and a bit more kid friendly. I made a crucial mistake though. I did not pre-soak in the mordant. My colors washed away much more and are not as deep as they could be.
Celery Leaves
We started with Hazel chopping some celery leaves. We were hoping to get some green yarn. Unfortunately, it did not seem to work for us. I don't know if the pre-soak would have affected it or not. Half way through the day I added baby spinach with more vinegar and water, but it still didn't do anything. I actually re-dyed this yarn on Day 3. My new method is to put the chopped vegetable, fruit, flower in the jar with the mordant and then add boiling water. This way I did not have to use the stove (I have an electric tea kettle) and Hazel could help more.
Purple Cabbage

The next experiment was really neat. I had read on Poppytalk (which I found through Pineterest) that using vinegar or salt with red cabbage gave different colors. (She does a neat table runner with natural dyed fabrics--I definitely want to try this at some point!) I wanted to try this. This is actually why I didn't pre-soak. I wasn't sure what to do with the salt at the time. Now I have found recipes on how to do it (on Pioneer Thinking). And the neat thing is I was telling a family I tutor for about the experiment and the student I work with said, "Oh, I know why. We just learned this in chemistry class." She was so excited to see a real life application of it. It has to do with the pH of red cabbage. For more information to use as a lesson or possible understand yourself check out this explanation on (plus it is really a neat science experiment there).
Purple Cabbage 1) Salt Mordant 2) Vinegar Mordant
 Look at the different colors you can get with purple cabbage!! I was so amazed. (It might be worth it to try making the green with the ammonia as the mordant. I just don't know if it will work on wool.)
1) Purple Cabbage with Vinegar, 2) Purple Cabbage with Salt, 3) Celery Leaves/Spinach
Since I did not pre-soak with a mordant, I rinsed with a mordant or should I say post-soaked in a mordant. I do not recommend doing it this way. It is definitely worth taking the 20 minutes to pre-soak. Please learn from my mistake!!
Same order as picture above with original colored skein on top.
As you can see the celery leaves and spinach did not change the color for us. Oh, well. Day 3, I had more success with this skein. Hazel had asked to dye some blue, so I'm glad the purple cabbage and salt worked. Next time I will definitely pre-soak though!! My hopes is for a rainbow sweater for Hazel from all this great yarn! When we went back to Drumlin Farm this week I bought two more skeins. I may retry the red cabbage with pre-soaking and I may buy a good natural green dye since none of my experiments worked.

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Multicultural Monday: Natural Dyeing Part 2


Well, I have to admit, I was thinking about making Multicultural Monday a monthly thing. I feel like I have lots to share and never have the time to share it all, but then while doing research for my natural dyes, I found a great activity to share with you that tied right into my natural dyeing. (If you missed day one of my natural dyeing experiment, check it out here. Post 3 or day 2 is here.)

Besides of course the history you can share from China, Native Americans, Egyptian, as well as Europeans and the Colonists of America, I found this great short lesson/experiment on Teacher Vision. It has a nice introduction about how the Native Americans did natural dyeing. Then it has a short activity dyeing fabrics in plastic bags using carrots, beets and red cabbage. They have the student rinse and then use detergents to see which stays in the longest. You could also change it to different mordants (ie. white distilled vinegar, salt, alum). Some mordants will change the colors as well.

To make it even more educational, you can use this lesson from Teacher Vision titled Native Americans Contribution to American Culture. (Wow, some interesting things to think about there.) Also Folk Tales of Northeast Native Americans also from Teacher Vision. Here is a link to Teacher Vision's Native American lessons. (Can you tell I love learning about Native American cultures?)
1) Blackberries, 2) Sunflower Seeds/Blackberries/Beets, 3) Beets

Anyway, back to my craft. This is actually day 3 of my natural dyeing experiments. I wanted to share this one with you since it uses the carrots and beets from the activity mentioned above. To learn about my experience with red cabbage, you will have to wait until later in the week!

I did a lot of experimenting today with dyes and methods. I tried orange marigold flowers (from Hazel's fairy garden), sunflower petals and sunflower seeds, carrots, blackberries, and beets. Beets definitely were the most successful. Half way through the day I decided the sunflower seeds had not done anything, so I threw the yarn in with the blackberry mixture. At the end, the blackberries hadn't had enough time to do much to this yarn so I threw it into the beet dye and took it out maybe 10-15 minutes later. It came out a pale pink (see picture above--middle skein). The sunflower petals did not seem to be doing much either, so I added more and tried putting them in the food processor. At the end I threw them in with the marigold petals since it was a bit darker.  Oh, and our day started with breaking one of our big jars when we poured the beet dye in off the stove. Red dye all over my kitchen. Not fun!

I also experimented with method the past two days. Instead of always cooking the dye, I tried putting the fruit/vegetable or flower in with the mordant and then added boiling water. I did this to make it more kid friendly. Hazel just had to stay away when I added the boiling water. Today I did try to cook the beets, but as I explained I broke the glass so I went with the boiling water method.
1) Carrots, 2) Marigold, 3) Sunflower Petals/Marigolds
In this picture you can see the piece of original color so you can see all of them have a slight new shade. I think if I was to do this again I would let them sit over night in these dyes.

I will post Day 2 on Friday!! My mother has agreed to knit Hazel a striped sweater with all my home-dyed yarn!! She will actually finish the sweater unlike me!!

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Dyeing Wool Yarn with Vegetables, Fruits, & Flowers Part 1

While at Drumlin Farm I saw that they were selling yarn made from their sheep's wool. This year I saw an unbleached off-white natural (white sheep) color as well as the greyish color I bought last year (a combination of the black and white sheep wool). My first thought was that would be fun for experiments with natural dyes. I bought four skeins. Then the next week I bought three more after I did some research on dyeing wool yarn and talked to the handworks teacher at Hazel's Waldorf School. She suggested doing sun dyeing with Hazel and using onion skins. So I goggled sun dyeing and found a great blog post on Natural Suburbia. However they used food coloring instead of vegetables, so I kept looking some more. Pioneer Thinking offers some great resources including a list of what to use for each color. Lion's Brand has a neat article comparing colors that you get using a few natural dyes on wool yarn versus cotton yarn. (It got me thinking about what cotton yarn I have that I could use for a different experiment.) I also read several indepth articles on how to make natural dyes. I pinned all of these on my Children Crafts & Activities Board.

So Hazel and I went to the grocery store for dye ingredients. Ok, we went to the grocery store several times for dye ingredients. Mostly because I kept forgetting things or getting the wrong thing and some stores carried items and some did not. I also found some great large jars at The Christmas Tree Shop. I bought three of them so I have been working three at a time. On our first day, we used yellow onion skins, red onion skin and concentrated grape juice. Having read so many instructions, I soaked my yarn in water with a cup of white distilled vinegar for probably about 40 minutes while I made the dyes. I took each of my onion skins and put them in a pan with water (3 parts) and vinegar (1 part). I boiled the mixture and then let it simmer for a bit. Then I poured each one into a jar and put a skein of yarn in each one. For the grape juice concentrate, I put it in a jar with a cup of vinegar and three cups of water and then added yarn. Then we put the jars in the sun for the day.
I think Hazel was excited to do this since she actually was willing to pose in a picture with the jars.
For our second trip to the grocery store we bought more red onion. The skin from one onion was not enough to really do much. Then we went to another grocery store for beets and frozen blueberries (only because I kept forgetting them). We added more onion skins with more water and vinegar to the red onion mixture. The yellow onion skin did not seem to be doing too much to the yarn, so we gave up on it and added blueberries with water and vinegar to that mixture.
The order pictured here from left to right, red onion skins, blueberries, grape juice. We let them sit in the sun for a good part of the day. The grape juice however seemed done so I rinsed it until the water ran clear (I used the hose). Then hung it to dry. Later in the day we rinsed the other two and hung them to dry as well.
The order above is blueberry, red onion skin and grape juice. The grape juice is my favorite color thus far. To see exactly how they compare to where we started.
The blueberry and grape are to the left and then the red onion skin is slightly darker than the original skein.

To add more educational side to this activity you could discuss the history of natural dyeing. Wikipedia provides a nice history on natural dyes. It is interesting to do something that has been done for 5000 years!! Dorthea Calverley also has a nice history more having to do with pioneers of the US. I will be sharing two more days of dyeing (at least) including some more educational ideas.

To see the other days check out Day 2 and Day 3.

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