Saturday, December 6, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry

Rust and tannin dyed silk scarfRust and tannin dyed silk scarf This is a silk crepe de chine scarf that I rusted Thursday-Friday with a heavy old rusty chain. Then I pole wrapped it for shibori, and instead of dye, I painted it with tannin, which natural dyers know of as one of several mordants (chemical salts that make natural dyes bond with natural fibers). Having never used tannin in this way before, I was unsure how much to use. What you see here was 2 tsp. to about 3/4 cup water. I'll likely use a bit less next time. The silk had a rather pink tone in the lightest areas, probably because of the strong concentration of tannin. So the last thing I did was dip the whole piece in a solution of 3/4 tsp. copper salt (another mordant) to a cup of water, which made the pink more tan. Which is what I wanted.

How cool that you can dye fabric without any dye at all...just earth salts!

1 comment:

Gerrie said...

Wow! That is beautiful.