Colors from the Earth (Natural Fabric Dye} Part 2

1212Dying fabric with my hands and products derived from the earth was an experience I will not forget. Each new dye product and the color created gave me just a small insight to the methods in use long before dye was mass produced. The turmeric was especially vibrant and so rewarding to use on every material I chose. The day of the flower dye shoot a sweet little moth came up and rested on a Marigold the same orange as its wings. It was a glorious afternoon. I encourage anyone with curiosity on the subject to try something as simple as using the typically discarded water that comes from soaking black beans (the dark blueish water) and boiling or even sun dying any fabric in a jar for a day or several. I actually put the beans in the ground after boiling them and they sprouted immediately and thrived.

The natural products used for dying were:

Coffee, turmeric, paprika, orange Marigold, Queen Anne’s Lace, Black Eyed Susan, blueberry, blackberry, black bean, Chamomile flower, and Stock flower in both magenta and purple.

Some of the fabric colors you see here were created with various mordants to seal in the color.  The mordant combinations were different for each color batch, but were primarily one of either salt, alum, vinegar, and cream of tartar. These are the safer of the mordants and can all be found in the spice section of the grocery store. Some can change the color of the dye significantly. Research is key for selecting the right mordant for the color effect desired.

Photographs By: Annabella Charles

v 3 5 6 7 811