Mad In Pursuit Notebook

cotton prints modified with chemical and natural dyes

Overdyeing my perky prints

Wed, 1.14.2015 As my Red Project continues, I decided to experiment with some too-bright-white prints that I got at the remnant store. They are at the bottom of the photo at the top.

Experiment 1. I overdyed a portion of the prints with a strong dose of Procion MX dye (6 parts Mixing Red, 1 part Boysenberry). My strong bluish red overwhelmed the prints, as you can see above. This morning I tried discharging (aka bleaching out) a moon shape on a scrap (upper left), using my SoftScrub method. I always love that effect -- feels Japanese somehow... and poetic.

Experiment 2. I chose to overdye another few bits with natural dyes. I soaked the cloth overnight in some watered down yogurt ("protein mordant" -- I read it in a book). Then I boiled it in the pomegranate skin "broth" I had left over from my December experiment. Threw in a hibiscus tea bag for good measure (red!). After about 10 minutes I transfered the fabric soup into a Ball jar, capped it, and let it stew. Next day -- took out the cloth, squeezed out the excess dye juice, and hung them to dry (without rinsing). Another 24 hours. Everything about natural dyes depends on not being in a hurry. This morning I rinsed the cloth. Hmmm. Lotta dried yogurt. Ick. So into the laundry they went with some blue Dawn.

As you can see, the result of my yogurt-pomegranate-hibisus-slow process is subtle. The prints went from pink/green/purple on white to more muted colors on greenish-yellow ivory. It isn't dramatic like, say, batik on indigo but it has its own special character that will help it blend better with my project.

Maybe the point is that the color is an output of my life -- I ate the yogurt and put the dregs of the container in the freezer; I ate the pomegranantes and turned the skins into dye; and I tried to drink the hibiscus tea but it tasted like dirt so I'm hoping it's good for something. A little story.

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