Waging war on wallabies & discharging blue dyes

For the past few years we have been growing vegetables and herbs in old apple bins quite successfully. The bins are high enough to reach into the middle, so it’s easy to get at the rhubarb or chives or silverbeet leaves.  We thought we had beaten the wallabies by having everything out of their reach.  So you can guess what I thought this morning when I saw the results of last night’s feeding frenzy.

The potato crop was doing very nicely and beginning to flower until …  You’ve heard of growing potatoes under straw, but perhaps this is going a bit far.

Every plant lush enough to be draping itself over the sides of the bin had been denuded overnight.  So I built a wall of straw  leaving the plants just enough room in the middle of the bin.  Any wallaby big enough to get at the leaves now is not a wallaby, it’s a  kangaroo….

Meanwhile in the studio, I have been experimenting a bit more with discharging dye with my silk and cotton scarves with interesting results. I heard that some dyes and colours did not discharge very well, especially a particular blue Procion dye.  So the scarves I chose to work on all had some blue in the colour mix.

Blue scarf wet discharge paste

Blue scarf after discharging dye

The result even after discharging twice on this piece of silk is almost invisible.

Then I tried it on a green and lilac knitted cotton (T-shirt fabric) and blue and green woven cotton scarves.

You can see from these photos that the blue dye is quite resistant to the discharge paste, but it does give a lovely subtlety to the design.  On the last photo, the result is so subtle that it really only shows up with a flash, otherwise it is almost invisible. 

I tried discharging on some painted scarves that I wasn’t happy with, and there was no result at all with one I had painted with Genesis Liquid Radiance – a very permanent colour indeed.

There’s no problem discharging dye from red orange pink or yellow.

There’s always a good discharge on these colours.


2 responses to “Waging war on wallabies & discharging blue dyes

  1. Maybe the wallabies are no more – as Potatoes are toxic. IF you ever get any spuds you could make potato cut stamps as we did when we were children. Maybe in the shape of wallaby paws – so your dyed piece of fabric would be like a survivor piece!
    Good luck with the straw barricade- I would have chosen wire – but you may think that unsightly & the damage has been done!


    • Toxic it may be, but commercial potato crops in this area have been devastated by wallabies, and you don’t see too many dead ones near the crops. I was already mulching the plants with straw, so just added a lot more vertically to create a barrier, and wire can be got through, ask me how I know.