Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 3

White Flour.
I boiled white flour for about half hour mixing water into it. It smelled like dough. :)
There were lots of chunks in it, not fully smooth. Maybe it needed to be blended with a blender to get all the chunks out. But the consistency was quiet thin and with that the print came out more consistent as opposed to blotchy with the indalca. I even tried the indalca thinned out, but the color didn't transfer from that.It printed a light color. The Henna printed darker than the Rosewood. But all in all, it was an interesting day.
I liked the print on the silk the most when it was wet. Obviously when it got dry, it wasn't as contrasty but it was still visible and the fabric is somewhat stiff since we have not mordanted any of the fabrics.
Here are the pictures.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

This is day two of our natural dye experiment. I don't know what to say.
February 8, 2010:
We started with boiling St. John's Toad and Rose wood. We boiled for an hour, and then left it overnight. Amar printed a little with pigment.

February 9, 2010.
I put the St. John's Toad and Rose wood back on the burner for about 1 hour more. It reduced in quantity to about half of what we had started out with.
In the meantime we boiled two tbsp henna for 15-20 minutes, then mixed that with already mixed indalca. We did not strain the henna, so it was grainy when we printed with it.

Next we mixed our own indalca and made two batches. One plain Indalca, and second was with henna and indalca. The Indalca mixture was more thicker this time. We were trying to see what quantity was good for printing with. Something that could be applied to our ink bed easily and picked up smoothly by the blocks.
Result of henna + indalca: It was not grainy but instead botchy. The already mixed indalca produced a better finish.
Results of Indalca: After printing with plain indalca which was to act as a resist when we dye it. We dyed in chemical dye just to see quick results. We dyed it a bright blue just so we could see the contrast of the resisted white cotton against the blue dye. Success. It looks like batik. I am happy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dye Workshop

February 6, 2010 - Vauxhall City Farm.

I attended a dye workshop with Amar, where we got to learn informally about the natural dye process. It made a little bit more sense seeing it as opposed to just reading about it in books. We dyed wool yarn in Weld, Tansy, and Golden Rod.

First we put our yarn in a mordant, alum, which can be found in local supermarkets. We simmered the yarn in boiling mordant water for 45 minutes. This can also be done overnight in cold water and alum. After the mordanting process, we put the yarns in three different dye baths. Those were then simmered for 30 minutes. The results of those were:
1. weld - bright yellow
2. tansy - yellow green
3. golden rod - orange yellow.

Overall a good experience. Can't wait to try it ourselves in the dye workshop in the college. Don't know how successful we will be because we have to make a concentrate of the dyes. As in, take the dried marigold and boil and simmer it for 1 - 2 hours to get a concentrate before thickening it will indalca or manutex, a seaweed thickener.

Finished block...well almost :)

Here is my block heading towards completion. Can't wait to start printing it.

Next we've tried to build a dye bed, on which we will stamp our block before printing it on the fabric. It was not a great success but it is in the right direction.