4.23.2012

easy dye project

dyed string
dyed muslin bags
dyed muslin bags

Last summer I dyed some muslin bags and string just for fun.  It was such a quick and easy project and so satisfying.  I sent some of them to my friends, used some for birthday gift packaging, and the rest went out to my customers with their shop orders.  I'm looking forward to doing more fun little projects this summer when I have more time.  For the past year I've been itching to try some natural dyes because the colors are just incomparable, plus the ingredients are less toxic.  I think dyeing muslin bags again would be a great way to experiment. 

23 comments:

ashley faye said...

these are uber sweet. muslin is fab .... let make tye dye muslin pants.

rachel | buttons magee said...

such an inspiration jenny. i have a big pile of muslin that my need a dye bath now!

jennifer said...

I got one of these bags with my order last summer! I love it! I've also been curious about dyeing with natural dyes. Keep us updated on your trials!

Nina said...

I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on with natural dyes - I've been thinking about it too. In fact, I've been contemplating a natural indigo tie-dyed Tova!

Amy said...

My grandmother is a fiber artist, so I have early memories of big tie-dye and paper making parties in the summer with all my cousins. Lately I've finished a couple of toiles out of muslin that turned out really well and I thought maybe it would be fun to dye them so they would be wearable, and your pretty bags have convinced me to do it.

k. wang said...

i recently bought a giant pack of muslin bags to use for this very purpose, i've also been obsessed with vegetable dyes ever since getting 'harvesting color' for christmas (chris makes fun of me because i've got an ever growing pile of onion skins on my desk to save for dyeing). did you dye the muslin bags in the photo with natural dyes or procion dyes? i haven't yet dyed string (but i have dyed wool yarn with food dye - that turned out really well), maybe i'll try that next time, too.

jenny gordy said...

Awesome, Kay! Can't wait to see what you come up with. I used Procion dyes for these. Haven't tried vegetable dyes yet, but would LOVE to.

k. wang said...

are you still planning a trip here? if you've got the time, we should do an afternoon scavenging for dye materials and dye some bags! we'll call it 'bodega natural dyeing'. ;)

Alessandra said...

really cute!!
xxx Alessandra

Ella said...

So sweet, I love the summery colours. I've been doing a little experimenting with dyes (natural and dylon) and I love the depth of colour from the natural ones. Mostly red cabbage actually, because I was going for a good purple/pink. It all depends what you want to do with the results, and whether you want to reproduce them more or less consistently. Natural dyes are more unpredictable (and fun!). I never used a mordant because I figured if I was using toxic chemicals I may as well use dylon and be done with it, but I'm not sure the results would be particularly colourfast, if you were dying something that needed washing. Can't wait to see the results of your experiments!

Jocy said...

These look lovely.

Stitch and Hammer said...

I'm glad you posted this. I've been thinking about dying the muslin bags I send out with my online orders. Adds so much character and brightness to the goods. Thanks!

k said...

i love the dyeing you did, and i'm quite interested to learn more about these sorts of dye. but then again i'm stitching up a piece right now in layers of beautiful natural dyed fabrics, so that's pretty appealing too.

Lindsay Jewell said...

Pretty.

Inroll said...

They are just cute!
I love them!!
Best,

hibou said...

These photos tickle my eyes. Pretty!

fleur_delicious said...

Jenny, you might be interested to know that I have been developing some natural usnea lichen dye for ... oh, two months or so. A friend and I took down an old plum tree that was dying in the backyard and I noticed it was covered in lichen. Lichen dyeing isn't really recommended these days because it does tax the ecosystem so heavily; but if you are already removing the habitat (our tree); fair play, you may as well gather the lichens, which won't survive if their home is cut down. I collected the lichen, sorted them, and crushed the usnea and put them in an ammonia and water slurry. This is the old Scottish method for croghan dyeing (traditionally, stale urine is used instead of ammonia - but you know, ew).

I have to shake the jars up every day, and get them out and exposed to fresh air as close to daily as possible (not always easy in our wet northwest), and they should be ready to dye with in another month or so. Usnea is special. It's a bit rarer in the US than in Europe, where it is found in the old oak forests. It's one of the few natural purple dyes - though my dye baths look more red than purple. Still, I cannot wait to try it out this summer!

(And Ella - mordants don't necessarily have to be toxic. It depends on the dye and the fiber you are dyeing. White vinegar is a very common one!)

Anna said...

Your string and pouches turned out beautifully! I've been intrigued by making natural dyes for a long time, but have yet to try it. I was just checking out the summer workshops at the Penland school in western NC, and they have a week-long class on making natural dyes: cochineal, indigo, etc.

Lillie said...

So much fun! I have been doing lots of experimenting with gum leaves, plum, berries, turmeric... The biggest thing is just choosing the right fabric for the right plant. Good luck!

paper crane said...

I'm a weaver and I dye a lot of my yarn myself using natural dyes. Right now indigo and cochineal. I use this supplier for my natural dyes: http://botanicalcolors.com/ the woman who runs botanical colors is so helpful and knowledgeable!

I'd like to grow my own garden for natural dyes at some point, but one process at a time.

jonahliza said...

these are so cool. i have a bunch of muslin bags and dye at home.. looks like i'll be doing some experimenting this summer <3 thanks for the easy diy!

dasmaedchenmitdenlocken said...

I love these. Tie Dying is awesome. I also want to do it again soon. This is a nice inspiration!

ellie said...

So lovely. I've been doing lots of natural plant dyeing experimenting lately - so fun, and exciting. You never know what will happen. This morning I stitched up some fabric in mock-Shibori stitches and plopped them in my solar dye jar. Can't wait to see the results.
I've also got in mind (when I have the time) to make little dyed bags for my customer orders. Lovely lovely.
Enjoy