The methods for erosion cloths are very subjective and everybody will approach it in a different way, these instructions are just the method that I used to obtain the cloths that I posted images of.
Lay out a washed, wet cloth and place the dye materials on one half of it. In the image below I have used bark, rusty metal, banana skins and coffee grounds, however the choice of dye materials is many and varied and up to you. The cloth will need to be rolled or bundled so bear this in mind when choosing your materials.
Preparing the cloth stage 1.
Preparing the cloth stage 2.
When you have half of the cloth covered with the dye materials, fold the other half of the cloth over it. In the image above I have added some twigs and leaves of eucalyptus to the top surface of the cloth. Next carefully fold the bundle in half the other way, over the leaves and roll it up. If it is too bulky to roll continue folding it into a bundle.
Preparing the cloth stage 3.
I tied my bundle around with string and then folded it in half, you can see the staining starting already- lovely!
When your bundle is complete sprinkle it with water, (I used a watering can), if you have used metal in your bundle you can add a little vinegar to the water to aid rusting. Place it a plastic bag or roll in a plastic sheet and leave for nature to work its magic. I suggest that you put it out of the way in the garden so that you don't have to disturb it.
Detail of the finished cloth.
Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way.
I always check the package periodically to make sure that it hasn't dried out, if it has re-wet it with the watering can.
This dye method can take from a few weeks to a few months depending on the nature of the dye materials and how heavily you want the cloth marked.
If the parcel is not sealed because you want the cloth to get distressed and worn looking it can get many bugs inside! These bugs are the little devils that help to break down the structure of the fabric, when you want to unwrap it place the unwrapped package in a sealed bag and place in the freezer. Now you understand why it must be a sealed bag, after a few hours take it out, unwrap it outside and give it a good shake, the bugs will have gone into hibernation and will not run around all over the place!