Posts Tagged ‘Silk’

Results of the walnut dye from my 100-mile sourced (Kelowna Lake) walnut husks. This first dye bath was the walnut husks boiled up right away for a few hours and then the fabric bundles, some with rose and eucalyptus leaf additions – simmered for a few hours. Silk and wool fabrics used in this dye bath.

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Over-dyed silk dupioni – stripe down the middle exposed fabric walnut dye. Fabric had been previously dyed with other natural plant dyes.

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Silk organza fabric (undyed) with shibori resist (folded fabric and clamped rectangle) in walnut dye bath.

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Previously plant dyed silk sateen fabric – shibori folded fabric to create resist – added rose and eucalyptus leaves – in walnut dye bath.

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Silk Sateen – Detail. Rose leave imprint.

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Silk and Metal fabric over dyed in walnut dye bath (fabric was previously dyed in other plant dyes which left a subtle colour). Applied random shibori resist ties with yarn leaving lighter coloured circles. The metal in the fabric creates a heavily textured surface after emerging from hot dye bath.

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Wool jersey fabric, shibori folded, bundled with eucalyptus and rose leaves with rusted rebar before partially emerging in walnut dye bath. The 100% wool imparts a mahogany rich brown.

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Well protected hands… mushing up the walnut husks before boiling. One whole in tact walnut trapped inside the mush.

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Bounty. Roasted walnuts (best tasting walnuts I have ever tasted), walnut tree leaves, walnut husks.


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Silk is such a magical fabric – it is so lovely to drape – takes on natural dyes and mineral dyes like a dream – and can’t help but fall the right way when worn on the body. Here are some images of a few lengths of organza that can be worn as shoulder wraps, swirled around your neck, or slung low over your hips. Some have patterns that have been created by taking away some of the natural seracin silk, then dyeing them in mineral vats. When the silk worms form their cocoons, the resulting fabric that is made contains seracin that gives the silk organza it’s natural crispness. So, by removing the seracin in certain parts by the shibori resist method – makes some parts of the silk softer and leaves the unresisted parts with the original crispness of the organza… adding texture and interest. Each piece has a hand embroidered silk loop closure with a vintage button and glass bead embellishment that allows you to wear it in several different ways.

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indigo, mineral vat & found object print (& my dog biscuit)

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hand embroidered silk loop with glass beads – vintage button.

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the lighter pattern is soft like butter… the darker pattern retains the crispness of classic organza.

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lighter portions soft as air – darker gray crisp – this wrap has visual and actual texture

I leave you with a quote …from 1916. Luckily there are now lots of modern makers that are making natural dyeing part of their practice.

William Morris says “all degradation of art veils itself in the semblance of an intellectual advance.” and nothing is truer than this with regard to the art of dyeing. As a tradition it is practically dead in Britain, and is threatened with gradual extinction all over the world. It will not recover itself as an art till individual artists set themselves to make beautiful colours again, and ignore the colour made for them by commerce and the chemists.

(Ethel M. Mairet, A Book on Vegetable Dyes, 1916)

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BBC News – Spider silk spun into violin strings. – Click on this link to a most interesting article. Although it is not made from spider silk, I wove a scarf out of tencel and silk called ‘Winter Web’ that was completely inspired by the frosty spider webs that I saw in our neighbourhood. Here is a picture – I put pale blue crystals on the fringe to contrast with the natural creams of the fibres and the wee webs of disruption in the fabric done by hand manipulated Leno technique.

Winter Web, tencel and silk, Swarovski crystals, 2012, 11″ x 120″, plain and hand manipulated leno weave.

Winter Web – Detail

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