Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dyeing for a change.

On my last post I had been doing this......
...I had found ( whilst sorting and moving things) a pile of damaged vintage linens. This piece is a large oval tablecloth. The lace is torn in a few places. I had initially put it aside for a project which I want to do later on in the year. I need quite a few different fabrics and was going to keep them in a box or bag until I had collected everything I needed.
This is quite a big tablecloth, it must have looked stunning on a large table when it was in use and dressed with gorgeous tableware!
Anyway, I decided that I wanted to crack on and get it coloured.
I used the tea dying method which we did as children. I saved the used teabags in a plastic container, and when I had enough, in a large bowl I emmersed them in boiling water. I gave them all a good squeeze ( rubber gloves on) I wasn't bothered if any of the teabags burst. Once mixed I immersend the pristine white tablecloth into the bowl and it stayed there for over twelve hours. I did agitate it a few times.
Then I rinsed it out and it had a gentle hand wash, and I hung it on the line to dry....
Because it was a lovely warm sunny day it dried pretty quickly. On the picture it looks a lot lighter than it actually is...
...it really has turned out lovely.
Following on from this, on Saturday we went to our local farmshop for our fruit and vegetables. I bought some beetroot and cooked it as soon as I got home. When it was cooked I looked at all that gorgeous red liquid and had an idea. I had another damaged piece of vintage lace, beautifully bright and white, but very badly damaged.
It went straight into the beetroot water complete with the peelings...
...in the liquid it was a gorgeous deep pink. But this is only a stain/discolouring process, and when I wash it out it will fade to very pale.
It turned out like this....
......again it looks very pale and cream on the picture but it is a very pale dusty pink. If I was going to use it in a piece which would need washing often then this method would not be suitable, but as it's going onto a decorative piece it doesn't matter.
I have more pieces of fabric and lace to colour, and I shall be trying quite a few other things to stain with, spices, plant leaves and maybe some inks.
Watch this space, there's more to come.

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