It’s time to share the results from last week’s eco dyeing experiment! I can’t stress how much I enjoyed this project…it is something I am excited to practice at and do more of. We left off last week with the steaming – I steamed my bundles for an hour and then let them sit in plastic bags overnight to try and let the colors steep a bit more. As for the results…I have both good news and bad news.
If you missed part one, be sure to go back and read for instructions on how to prepare your bundles!
When I removed the bundles the next day I knew immediately that one had worked and one most likely had not. The one on top was the bundle made with a bouquet of roses, lilies, and chrysanthemums. The one on the bottom was a mixture of primroses, begonias, African violets, and more rose petals. I could see that the one on the bottom was much more colorful and had some dye seeping out of it. The bad news is, I was right about the first bundle. The rose petals, lilies and chrysanthemums did not seem to have had any effect on the fabric and all I was left with was a slightly greenish tint to the cloth.
The second bundle, however, was much more promising! It even looked pretty when I first unrolled it. Remove all of the petals and leaves from the cloth and hang it up to dry. Tip – save your plant materials! Let them dry out and use them to make some potpourri :).
I absolutely love how this came out! The flowers that worked the best from this first experiment are definitely the primroses (which were pink and purple) and the begonias (the ones I used were a reddish orange color). I think I’m even more excited about taking what I’ve learned and experimenting further…testing out new colors and patterns, there’s no end to what you can do with this! I was originally thinking about using this to make a scarf but I think I may just hang it right on my wall as a tapestry. If you are dying something that you want to be able to wash/wear, be sure to fix the fabric first. To do this, let it boil for one hour in a large pot of 4 parts water to one part vinegar prior to dyeing.
For instructions on preparing bundles please refer to Eco Dyeing With Flowers: Part One.
If any of you try this I’d love to see photos! Send ‘em to firstname.lastname@example.org :).
More DIY Projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.