Come journey with me.
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page." - Saint Augustine
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
In these lazy days of summer (boy is it hot and humid here in Abu Dhabi!) it is fun to kick back and play. I have done a lot of fabric dyeing using Procion dyes but I have been wanting to experiment using natural dyes and see what results I could get. While I was in Michigan, I found this wonderful book by Sasha Duerr, The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes in which she using all kinds of natural things in your kitchen to dye both plant and animal fibers.
My first experiment was with Turmeric Powder. As a mordant or fixative to bind the dye to the fabric, I first boiled the fabric in an aluminum pot, which is one of the easiest mordant methods. I used cotton, silk, and scrim or you may know it as cheesecloth. The silk is so vibrant while the color of the cotton is much more subtle. Three very different shades depending on the type of fabric used.
My next experiment was with Blackberries. Yum! The great thing about dyeing with natural ingredients is you get to eat your way through your dye process. Lovely soft, dusty color on the silk. Very vintage looking.
I also made a stronger mixture of blackberries and dyed these white wooden prayer beads that I purchased on my India trip. The wood really absorbed the color.
I am looking forward to trying some other natural dye materials such as red cabbage, mint, onion skins, and hibiscus tea, just to name a few. What fun and inspiring fabric to use in projects.
My name is Cynthia Tomaszewski and I am the designer and owner of Simple Pleasures, a quilt design company with offices in Michigan and the United Arab Emirates. I am also the author of 5 books, "Garden Party - Applique Quilts That Bloom", "Tea in the Garden - Quilts for a Summer Afternoon","Let's Pretend - Whimiscal Quilts for Kids", "Quilts from Paradise", and just released, "Quilting Those Flirty 30's" which are all published by Martingale and Company.
Travel and adventure have been my goals and luckily I have found a soul mate in my husband Mike. We have travelled extensively through out the world, from Mexico, Europe, Africa, and the Far East to the Pacific Basin. After residing in Abu Dhabi for seven years, Mike, my son Zachary, and I took a two-year hiatus and sailed our thirty-three foot Hans Christian sailboat through the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to Spain. I currently reside once again in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates with Mike and our Yorkie Stanley.