Natural dyeing workshop with Trace Willans

Over the weekend we had a Natural Dyeing workshop here in my studio with Trace Willans.  Some had done natural dyeing before, but a couple of us were novices including me.  We started with bundles being wrapped and boiled for a couple of hours.

Ingredients ready for natural dyeing

This is a large piece of wool batting with native cherry in the water to produce a lovely citrus lemon colour.

Wool bundle in still cool water

The grey colour in the pot below is the result of a very rusty pot bottom.

Bubbling away in a rusty pot

These were some of the fabrics dyed this way, many unexpected surprises, like the colour in this piece of silk.

I think this is Jill's silk piece

Sue B with her t-shirt

Ros' leafy t-shirt

SueD's jersey silk

Maree's threads

These wool threads above were actually the wrapping threads around her bundles.  And the weave in this wool scarf below looked perfectly even before the dyeing process, and only showed up after with the darker warp.

Stripey wool scarf

The orange blobbly bits were slices of fresh avocado stones.

A few pieces of watercolour paper were given the egg treatment and then placed vertically in the pots for a short while, to get some interesting effects.

Natural dyed paper

On Sunday after we had unwrapped Saturday’s bundles with lots of oohs and aahs, we got a bit more adventurous.

Painting with egg yolk before bundling

And making designs on garments.

Laying out the design

Placement for mirror imaging

I used fine tissue silk to wrap some of my bundles in, so that I didn’t get the “string lines” on them.  They have dyed beautifully as well.

Bundle wrappers

I tried out a piece of wool batting with a view to it becoming a book cover.  The real colour is a limey green, not as brown as the photo shows.  The fan shape is a sprig from the oyster bay pine growing near the studio, very subtle colour change on it, but hopefully the impressions will stay.

Wool batting

I hope I see the results of Sunday’s boilings at next week’s Stitchcing and Beyond meeting.

It was a great weekend, despite the cold and the rain.  Trace was a good tutor and very generous with her ideas.  we were lucky to have her for a workshop before she leaves Tasmania to return to West Australia to live, and we wish her all the best.

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