CHH Annual Sale

Getting everything together for the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston Annual Sale. I had so much fun with the felted soap last year so I had to make some more. I also have a couple of kumihimo neckpieces and loomed bracelets to include. But my very favorite things are the eco printed/dyed scarves I have been making all year. Also managed to get some indigo pieces done.

Hope to see some of you there. It’s October 22nd through the 24th at Guild House. Check http://www.weavehouston.org for more details.

New Textile Book

As soon as I saw this was available, I treated myself.  It was all I expected it to be. There were no ‘little projects’ to be found.  There are just some interesting ideas to get me thinking about how I could expand my eco printing and natural dyeing projects.

In the book, Alice includes ideas about collecting found objects. I know there are a lot of books containing that subject but it is good to be reminded periodically. She talks about collecting ‘colors’, how to make natural ink, how to select items for rust printing, weaving and twining with natural materials, combining techniques and more. In addition to all that, it is a pleasure to look at. It is one of the books I don’t store on the bookshelf but keep out to review.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in using natural materials and found items in their textile work.

Tried Something New

I have been following several eco print groups on Facebook. There are lots of great ideas, beautiful results and helpful people in all these groups. Every now and again there will be a tip or trick that I feel I can apply to my work. Sometimes they turn out and sometimes they don’t.

The scarves on the left side of each of the above photos are an example of a very interesting tip. After the mordant prepared silk was soaked in vinegar water and covered with foliage, I covered the whole thing with a piece of cloth soaked in ferrous sulphate (iron water) before it was rolled up for processing. Amazing what happened. The scarves on the right were processed as I would normally process eucalyptus leaves to maintain the beautiful color.

I decided to take this idea one step further and try it on a couple of scarves that did not turn out satisfactorily the first time.

Now the sweet gum, eucalyptus, and bamboo really show up. The color is great.

Here the oak leaves provided a great resist.

The results were wonderful. It made me go back through all the scarves I had processed so far to see if any of them could use a little boost.

Been Too Long

I can’t believe it has been over a month since my last post. I have been busy with my eco printing and testing more indigo resist patterns. The scarf above is silk printed with rose leaves, Purple Heart and some woodland fern with a few brushstrokes of indigo.

Unfortunately, I also had a computer crash so many hours were spent trying to find all the software and drivers to reload. Thought maybe the computer experts could copy my disk drive to a new one but the best they were able to do was load the operating system. Well at least I had a bit of warning before the crash so, in spite of backing up my data daily, I made a special backup with my ‘can’t do without’ folders and pictures. Experience has taught me now to have a copy of the system image (at least updated weekly) and to do backups that make sense. Finally back in business.

This week I plan on a heavy indigo session. Have several scarves with sewn resists done and plan on starting to prepare the shape resists today.

Continuing with Botanicals

Interesting to see how my work has progressed since last year. But there are times we go back to the tried and true. Here we have rose leaves, fern leaves, violet leaves and some purple heart. This silk habotai piece was processed in the same pot as the two below so it ended up with a little langiappe – a touch of madder root in the corner.

Here was a bit of silk chiffon with oak leaves, crape myrtle leaves, bamboo and a bit of madder root extract. The black was a result of the rusty can the scarf was wrapped around when processed.

This was a piece of silk habotai that was processed with oak leaves, sweet gum leaves, bamboo and some madder root. This, too, was wrapped around a rusty can to achieve the black areas.

There may have been a touch too much madder root in the last two as some of the yellow from the leaves (resulting from the a pre-mordant of aluminum sulfate) was a bit overwhelmed.

I am busily prepping some scarves (doing a little shibori stitching) to get ready for my next indigo day. As it is so warm outside, I want to make sure I have everything ready for a busy day of dyeing. Not sure if the indigo pot will last more than a couple of days in the heat.

Time to Post

Been busy doing things and forgetting to stop, take photos and post results. I follow several natural dye groups on Facebook and remember someone posting their process which included a 6 hour boiling bath. I decided to give it a try and, as you can see, the fig leaves gave amazing prints. The other botanicals are angel’s trumpet (brugmansia), rose petals, live oak leaves and bamboo leaves. The golden aura around the fig leaves is from the angel’s trumpet (mine are apricot in color). Even though the figs gave fantastic prints, the rose petals went past their red-pink stage and left a pinkish brown imprint. As I write this, I have more scarves in the pot cooling. I decided to try boiling these for 4 hours instead of 3 and use a different mix of botanicals. Anxious for them to cool and see the results.

Sweetgum Plus More

Had more Sweetgum fun. The first two pictures are silk habotai with sweetgum, dried rosemary stems, bauhinia plus miscellaneous all dipped in an iron solution. I love the rosemary resist. It was dipped in an iron solution which gave it that halo. This was then boiled in an iron solution bath with rusty bits added.

The third photo is a cotton/silk fabric. I used primarily oak leaves, pear leaves and bamboo. All leaves were dipped in an iron solution and boiled in an iron solution bath with rusty bits added.

The bath and dip I used for both was from an iron extract which was brown in color. I have prepared my own solution using rusty bits which is turning a very dark gray. Will be interesting to see if here is any difference.