At Last!

It’s been way too long since my last post but I do have a couple of interesting botanical prints to write about.

One of the more difficult fabrics to offer up interesting prints is chiffon. The fabric is such an open weave that the most one can hope for is some interesting (and it usually happens) color. This time, however, a small piece of silk chiffon fooled me.

The hamelia leaves as well as the sweet gum did themselves proud. The annatto seeds provided a bit of color. The very vague and disappointing print is a grapefruit leaf. Otherwise, very nice result.

The other piece is one that I had promised to publish a couple of weeks ago. It is the scarf that was covered by the iron blanket I wrote about. It is a beauty. Don’t know that I can part with this one. The oak leaves and the onion skins are a perfect complement to the red of the madder root.

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7 thoughts on “At Last!

  1. When you use an iron blanket, how long do you soak it in iron and what % strength of iron is used in how much water? I’ve Never tried an iron blanket.
    From your other posts it sounded like you had plants on a scarf, added the iron blanket that was a little narrower in width, and then pit all in madder dye bath?
    Thanks, peggy cox

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    • Peggy, I prepare an iron solution using rusty (or things that will rust) in a container of vinegar. Your container should probably be at least a quart (32oz) in size. To cure, put the items to be rusted in the container and fill with vinegar (leave about a 1/2 to 1 inch of headroom). Your iron solution will be “ripe” when it’s really nasty looking and has rusty foam on the top. After the solution is ripe I scoop out about 1 cup into a container filled with about a quart of water. I use old sheets as my “blankets”. I strip a piece of sheeting the size of my scarf blank and dip it in the iron/water solution until it is soaked through. People like to dry this blanket before use as there could be drips but I have not had any problem with it in my use so I just then cover my leaf covered scarf with the blanket and tightly roll. Hope this answers your question.

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      • Thanks so much. That helped me understand the basics. How did you get the madder just on the edges? It has to be one of the loveliest pieces I’ve seen posted.

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      • Thanks for the quick reply and forgive my many questions.
        So the ecoprint bundle with iron blanked was smaller than the main scarf and processed in madder dye all at once…
        or… the eco print was made first, then rebound only in center with cloth or plastic leaving the edges exposed for dye?

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  2. The botanicals were placed along the center of the scarf. An iron blanket, the same size as the scarf, was placed over everything. The scarf, leaf, blanket bundle was wrapped around a can that was placed at the end of the bundle in the center then rolled up. After rolling another cloth was wrapped around the center before tying with string. The the edges of the scarf and the iron blanket were loose in the dye bath and there were no string marks on the edges. I hope this helps answer your question.

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