It’s been a long time since I posted here but lately I was very busy traveling and fabric dyeing. I dyed bunch if fabrics with Procion MX dyes, but my last adventure was dyeing with rust.
Living in Lithuania summer is the only time when I can dye fabrics. Our summers usually are not hot and have not too many sunny days. It rains a lot here. Lithuania in Lithuanian is called Lietuva, that means a place where it rains a lot.
Last weekend I was lucky to have both- hot weather and a lot of sunshine. I drove 100 miles to Zypliai Manor where my friend Lolita was taking part in a plain air event. Lolita introduced me to her friend who was a blacksmith. That was quite a discovery! His workshop looked like a place out of fairy tale:
And the best thing was rusted metal pieces laying everywhere!
Right away I knew I had to come back for rust dyeing session. I’ve done rust dyeing before and I made a quilt ”Underground River” that is traveling right now with SAQA Made in Europe I collection. My problem always was I didn’t get interesting rusted metal to use. This looked like a treasure for me and I went back with required supplies.
I soaked my fabrics in water/vinegar solution and started layering them using plastic bags. I used white cotton, white linen and also some cotton/polyester mix. It was quite difficult job getting down on my knees and getting up to look for more metal pieces:
I also had few pieces of fabric previously dyed with chemical dyes, and some of my naturally dyed fabrics that I couldn’t find use for. Those I wrapped individually and placed into zipper bags:
Finally after three hours of hard work I covered everything and left laying outside for two days:
Two days later I did the same 200 miles round trip to see the result. It was fun to unwrap fabrics and see the magic to happen:
These were previously dyed with plants. Tannin in plants make rust to produce black color:
These two previously dyed with Procion MX dyes:
Finally last piece:
The next day, after soaking fabrics in salt solution, I washed them to uncover the final result. Some rust washed out, of course, but still I am very happy to have a collection of rust dyed fabrics in many values: