beautiful mistakes

When chemistry has its own way.

I bet i couldn’t replicate this if i tried…..I had used this tannin bath already twice, and it was filtered water, but the tannin had started to oxidize, and it also showed me that either my filtered water system leaves some iron in, or that the original scouring had left a residual, BUT it’s the most gorgeous silver and fawn i’ve ever seen. The right side is actually the bottom edges, and the left is the middle where it was folded over a rod to hang to dry. The iron migrated then to the bottoms so it was still pretty “loose”.

I’m hoping that after a good rinse, it’s much the same. (Silk velvet)

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naturally dyed silk velvet listings open, shop update

Natural dyes and silk velvet have an affinity for each other, like a love poem whispered into a breeze, like feather soft caresses, cool water on hot naked skin, sensual and earthy, sharing the privacy of deep emotion and quiet solitude.

Pure silk velvet is a dream to turn into art, or functional but stunning accessories. For embroidery on this, i would advise backing with a soft but firmly woven cotton (cotton flannel is excellent!), and use bold embroidery stitches, like chain, whipped backstitch or whipped running stitch, in 6 strand floss or #3, #5 or *8 perle. If you are doing satin or other covering stitches, a small piece of stabilizer is recommended. Beading is wonderful as well!!!!!

Listing for the large squares is now active. 

EDIT: LARGE PACKS SOLD OUT.

EDIT: listing for smaller pieces is now open, 4 packs only. SOLD OUT

naturally dyed silk velvet

I’ve had a love affair with velvet since i was 12 and found a Vogue magazine that advised “A pant of lavender panne velvet is the essential in a bohemian styled wardrobe.” I’m not sure *how* i thought my 60cent an hour babysitting jobs were going to finance the purchase of an $800 garment, but that was obviously beside the point (I’ve never forgotten that quote either…) Natural dyes coupled with silk velvet have me quite giddy at the moment. 😍

I just have to fire up the indigo pot, do some dye combinations and extend the colour range a bit more as we need greens, blues, purples, almost-blacks, different pinks!

Listings will start on July 5th, with 2 differently sized packs, and as always, i refund any extra shipping paid!

germs

I should be/am slowly working on Samara, but i keep returning to the ethnic embroideries of Central Asia.

What if i did this sort of thing:

with these?

Admittedly, silk velvet , *any* velvet is a bitch to sew, slipping, sliding and slithering everywhere but where it’s supposed to go, BUT. I have more patience now with my work, and intend to this all by hand, so maybe a lot of pinning and bulldog clipping?

Or mix with some of the other recent textured fabrics? Yup.

Perhaps some indigo again?

what shape will this one become?

 

richness

Cutch and madder on silk velvet, MOAN. Can’t wait to work with these beauties! Admittedly i wanted the madder red on the velvet like the last few cotton results, but this deep rose is yumshy, wonderful with that foxy cutch!

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.