Sunday, 23 January 2011

Solar dyeing how to!

Collect together some jam jars, the bigger the better.

Fill with water and then add your chosen dye materials. Use just one type per jar.
Flower petals or leaves, roots, bark, onion skins etc

Scrunch up your small pieces of fabric, different types of fabric will take the dye up in different ways.
Silk will dye with a stronger colour than cotton,  natural fabrics and threads are the best type to use.
Synthetics will only dye a very pale colour if at all and must have some cotton content in the weave.

Squash into the jars with the dye stuff and place on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse,
leave for a few weeks or months until the cloth is the colour you require.


TIPS
As the weather doesn't get very hot where I live I often start off with hot water to speed things up.

Always make sure the fabrics have been washed to clean them of the dressing.

The fabrics can be added wet or dry, wet the fabrics before placing in the jar for a more even dye.
Stir them around every now and then.

Wrap some of the dye materials in with the cloth for a more mottled effect.

In the winter the jars can be left on a radiator.

Threads can be dyed as well as fabrics.

The dye residue can be used for artwork as an ink.

Finally, these dye jars can get very smelly and often go mouldy (that's fine!) but placing lids on the jars can help with this.

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