#1. the cloth. i got this cloth as a remnant at the eco centre, so i dont know exactly what it is. i think that it is cotton, i hope that it is cotton, it seems like cotton. it is a nice piece in that it is a long rectangle, i did not measure the length, but in folding it i found it was 15" wide. i have mordanted it 4 times, the first time in tea, the second in soy, the thrid in ash water and the fourth in soy again.
#2. the folding. i first folded it in thirds.
i just used my hands to flatten and crease the edges. i then started to fold the long tube into triangles.
and was left with a thick triangular package in the end.
i then secured this with popsicle sticks and elastic bands. i just kinda made a pattern in a way that i felt would make the package secure. the opposite side is the same as this one.
They Dye - Black Beans
i decided to try black bean dying, it seemed like a pretty good place to start and from what i saw online you could get some nice bluish shades + you can eat the beans afterwards! so i bought a bag of black turtle beans!
i let the beans soak in water for 24 hours, stirring frequently. (any longer than that and you should not really eat the beans, as they can go bad) at first it had quite a purple tint to it, but by the time it went into the bin it had turned rather brown. without disturbing the whole thing, i scooped the bean liquid from the top into my dye container, a plastic bin apparently you do not want to stir things up at this point as it will mix proteins into the dye or something along those lines.
i then added my prewetted triangle.
i let it soak for 3 days. i was only going to do 2 but i got busy on that second day and did not have a chance to check on it till the third. it smelled rather bad at this point, ick. did not look that great either.
i took it out and let it dry in the shade for a day or so before attempting to open it up.
i opened it up and...
this is my somewhat failed attempt at doing a panarama of it...
i guess i do not know how to stay the same distance from the surface as i move while taking a picture, oh well. the colour did get progressively lighter towards the center, the inside edge has pretty much no colour. i realized after that this is because i folded it ALL WRONG! ack! i should have folded it accordion style, so that each edge would get access to the dye. while i was folding it i was thinking that it was kinda strange and that the dye would have to soak right in to get to the center, but i guess i was not really thinking enough to actually stop and do it right. oh well! i can always over dye it and create a new pattern!
i also saw a page somewhere where someone had done a bean dye experiment and had used a mordanted cloth and an unmordanted cloth and got the purple colour i was hoping for on the UNmordanted cloth and a more brown colour on the mordanted one. so i am oing to have to do another bean trial with an unmordanted piece and hope for PURPLE!!!! oh well, live and learn and all that stuff. it was fun anyway and now i have a freezer full of beans!