It is not a very colorful fall here. Not like last year, too dry for strong colors. But I have managed to work on more textiles beyond the chemical rusting of the week before. Here are some of those efforts using lots of ferrous sulfate and black tea and a pinch of caustic soda.
I recolored some Australian repurposed pants that had been dyed with some mollusk shells and were now faded. Next a shirt I bought that was a bit too yellowy and an old hunk of canvas. Then some scrim and a loosely woven silk scarf I bought in Australia to do some coloring on. See below.
I liked it but it was a bit too creamy. I knew I would not make it a first choice from the scarf stack. So it went back into the iron and tea pot for some greying down. It was much better losing the whitish parts. My cat, Spooky loved the results.
This week I was back at the dyeing pots with the gathering of leaves and attempting a bit of contact printing. There was an old pashmena shawl that was a stained pale yellow/green. I wrapped in what leaves I had in the yard and tried to get something to happen.
Pretty good on one end so this morning I dipped the other end in again. Once rinsed and hung on the line it became more soft and grey toned. Here it is with the loosely woven silk greyish scarf that now has one line of kantha stitching in place. I am going to add weight and some added interest by stitching this running stitch all the way across the scarf. Finding this old spool of ecru silk from my earlier weaving days was just perfect for the grey scarf and easy to follow the open holes to keep the stitching somewhat straight.
Here they are next to each other on the board shear in the studio.
And another detail of the now much better pashmena.
I also tried some watercolor papers with not much success and lokta paper with no success.
I am getting friends who have part time homes here to record their residence with contact prints using plants from their yards. Today one of them went home with her bundle still wrapped up because when we first unwrapped it, not much was too exciting. So we are leaving it til later in the week to undo. Another friend will be over tomorrow to make her fabric piece up.
But I am thinking it is a bit late in the year for the leaves to be giving us much. Tomorrow I might just take the leaves from the Japanese maples. They always seem successful. Maybe a bit of black walnut leaves as well…can’t go wrong there. But these colorful oaks and maples are not transferring so well right now.
I will post a picture of the kantha stitched scarf when it is finished….and when I get a decent print on some lokta papers.