cutchy cutchy coo, and fabric woes and lows

Every dyer knows about walnuts for deep browns. Walnuts don’t grow in Alberta. I have some frozen ones still, sent by a generous friend in Ontario, and intend to dig them out, but needed some browns *now*.

Cutch yields chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, clove, mocha—mm, all delicious sounding 🙂 I’ve wanted to try it since i started noticing it in my “ethnic” embroidery research (India and the Mid/Central Asian regions), and for Mother’s Day, my darling son ordered me some (cutch extract) from Maiwa!

Cutch is a tannin and a dye, much like walnuts, quebracho rojo, or pomegranate. (Most of my fibres are previously mordanted though, as i like having them ready to go when the dyeing mood strikes. Pieces i want to overdye after the cutch, are already then tannined, in fact double tannined :).) I wasn’t impressed at first with the action in the dyepot, seeing a “nice” brown with distinctly pink overtones, but since it has to simmer for 2 hours, cool overnight, and there are many ways to shift the colour, i just let it be.

Recommended WOF being 20 to 50%, i used 30%. These fibres have been previously mordanted, with the exception of the lace far right.

I’d call most of these “mocha”, maybe even “mocha coral” :), vintagey, homey, warm and soft. The silk velvet obviously did the best at uptake, a rich foxy shade.

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That cotton lace is a dense, heavily “woven” chunk.  And when i say “woven”, yes i am aware that lace is more a thread manipulating process than weaving. I’d love to see the machines that wind these threads into these patterns! BUT, yesterday when i took the darkest piece out in the sun to check the actual colour, WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, this is 100% cotton—except for the trapped fibres of plastic/synthetic in it: see the shiny bits, especially at left and top? Plastic is SO prevalent and polluting in our world, and we tend to take for granted that when we buy cotton, it will be uncontaminated by synthetics, but i’m guessing this place either makes synthetic laces as well, or fibres from plastic packaging of the original cotton getting trapped in the machine. Perhaps we should ask now for labels that say “made in a facility where nuts, gluten, what, soy and plastics are also used/manufactured….”

 

 

The newest “trend” in fabrics is abhorrent: hyberole and gimmick, targeting and misconception/deception are really heavy in these so called “organic” fabrics.  I don’t care if it’s made from rose petals/rose waste, white pine, eucalyptus, bamboo, oranges or frickin fairy wings; it’s viscose/rayon, a fibre made from MANY different cellulose fibres (all plants are cellulose!), and the process is shockingly chemical laden, severely toxic and horrendously polluting. If i put a random pile of rayon fabrics in front of you, you would not be able to tell what was made from rose petals, or rotten rare spotted himalayan feather orchids…..I find it quite disgusting any company calling these sustainable, organic, vegan or eco-conscious, and just as disturbing that uninformed buyers clear this stuff out like it’s made from gossamer wings and moonbeams.  I made the decision a long time ago to not buy or use rayon, as it’s nasty stuff period. There’s no such thing as “good quality” rayon, and even if there were, it ain’t coming in my studio!  Don’t fall for makers that tell you these products are leaving no toxic footprint, educate them, but don’t don’t don’t buy.

9 responses to “cutchy cutchy coo, and fabric woes and lows

  1. Interesting post Arlee.
    In these days of being ‘plastic’ conscious, it is amazing how pervasive the stuff is … scary times ! Will we be able to reverse the plastic age ?
    I find I am using mostly sewing machine threads these days … Gutermann cotton my ‘go-to’ brand. Guess I’ll check into how well made/pure it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i do belive there are conscionable makers, and lots of them, but deliberate deception, and sloppiness is another thing. We have to unfortunately with a lot of things, just take them at face value, but maybe, maybe if we questioned more, we’d change things a bit.

      Like

  2. Wow – you STILL have some of those walnuts from all those moons ago? As for rayon – that stuff is absolutely vile, not only from an environmental standpoint but it’s a bitch to stitch too.

    Liked by 1 person

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