Sunday, May 15, 2011

solar dyed bundle

thursday was the final night of the advanced natural dye class i tought at the workroom.   one of the things we tried out was solar dyeing, and most of the gang combined it to be a bundling project as well.  usually i don't do any dyeing myself in the class, but on the second week i joined in on wrapping up a bundle of fabric with some dyestuffs.  we let them sit in the shop window in the sun for a week, and on thursday opened them up to unveil some beautiful colours.

bundling and solar dyeing are both as easy as they sound.  if you've never done any dyeing at all before, it's a great easy way to begin playing around.  simply lay out a piece of fabric, cover it with flowers, leaves, berries, whatever you think might give some colour (onion skins work wonderfully), then spray it all so that it's wet, roll or fold it up, then leave it in a sunny place a clear plastic bag or jar (full of water if you like).  wait at least a week, and unroll to reveal!  pre-mordanting the fabric will give you stronger, more washfast and lightfast colours, but this process is so easy and satisfying that the longevity of the colour needn't necessarily be the ulitmate goal.

my bundle contained some madder and osage (traditional dyestuffs), some onion skins, as well as a bunch of petals from various cut flowers that had just wilted at my house.  it's birthday season where i live, so there was a fair variety, including hyacinth, tulip, renonculus and peony.


  1. it really was a very beautiful piece
    thanks for some great classes

  2. quite interesting results. i need to try this soon. thanks for sharing!

  3. your results was so beautiful
    I will have to try it again