Thursday, January 25, 2018

Frozen Marigold Dye Pot Update

Here's the 4-1-1.

1) Picking up where we left off ....   I let the marigold dye cloth steep in a dark corner of my pantry overnight.  BUT, in my excitement, I totally forgot to plan for After The Brew Has Stewed.  The next morning I wondered, Where to put the awesomely colored water so I might use it again?  Where to hang the cloth?  Oops.  Thank heavens for old Tupperware, including the bin I used to haul birthday cupcakes to school when the children were younger.  I strained the cloth and liquid through a plastic colander; most of the liquid made it into the Tupperware.

The marigolds didn't look too good after staying out all night.

My pantry now looks like a biohazard lab with the bin of colored liquid sitting on the counter.

A music stand that hasn't seen any action for a while worked as my drying rack. I put a white rag on the floor to catch any messes, but I had wrung out the cloth enough.  Nothing dripped.

2) In daylight, the color looked more ochre than I expected.  In fact, it looked rather mustard-y.  I confess to being a little disappointed because I really liked that vibrant yellow that emerged after I had added the baking soda to the mix the previous night.  Since I wasn't completely enamored with the cloth at this point, I figured I couldn't make things worse.  I sloshed some vinegar on it to add some blotches of lighter color.  (I would have been spritzed all over, but the sprayer was clogged.)

Definitely irregular coloring.  That faint pinkish stain is an area that wasn't completely submerged overnight.

3) I left the cloth to dry naturally for several days in a relatively sun-free corner of my mudroom.  The color lightened to a lovely light lemon yellow.

4) The moment(s) of truth: rinsing and washing.  I scrubbed the cloth a bit with a clean brush,  because a number of shriveled marigold petals were stuck to the cloth and I didn't want them wrecking havoc to my machine. Some color did go down the drain at this point.  Then I plopped it into the washing machine with a white rag for a cold water wash. I was curious as to how much more color might still come out. (Nothing noticeable happened.)

5) Here's the cloth today after washing, drying, and ironing.  It's noticeably lighter and grayer than it was before, but I think the dye is pretty colorfast at this point.  I was surprised to discover that most of the vinegar blotches are gone.  The light sections that remain are the areas of the cloth that were above water for most of the steeping process.  These became more noticeable after ironing, which also surprised me.

An "above the fluid" splotch + a piece of muslin for contrast
Lessons Learned:
1) As much as diving right in is fun, a little bit of planning can be important.  If you hope to keep any of the leftover liquid dye for another use, have receptacles ready. Know where you're going to hang the cloth to dry.

2) I didn't add a fixative.  I'm guessing that's why the bright yellow didn't stick.  Next time I'll try to remember to throw in some mashed acorns or fireplace ash to the brew.  (I'll put those in an old bit of pantyhose first so they don't make a mess.)

3) I had enough water for most of the cloth to be submerged as it stewed; as a result, the cloth is pretty uniform in color.  Next time I'm going to try to either tie some knots in it, snarl in some rubber bands, or, if I'm really ambitious, do a bit of shibori-like stitching up front.  Any of these might make for interesting depth of color.  I'm not sure why the vinegar "stains" didn't keep.  I'll have to do some research on that one. I also don't know if the cooler temps in my mudroom had any effect on the final product.

And there you have it.  Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Until next time, thanks for reading and be well!

1 comment:

Norma Schlager said...

Good for you for persevering. I was mostly disappointed with my eco dyeing. The only color that was really good was turmeric.The rest were very pale or barely there after the washing. I'm sticking with Procion Mx dyes.