Wednesday, October 5, 2011

24 x eco dye

Recently, I had an eco dye session with 24 1. graders! - 50% chaos - 50% fun - and here is the result:

I brought some leaves and flowers, and the children went out gathering some too. I made a great mistake, though. I brought some shredded madder root in a bag - and told them it was Magic Dust. Thinking,  that a tiny sprinkle could give an interesting effect. Ha, ha, it surely did - those 6-7 year old little ones quite boldly poured the Magic Dust all over (a lot of Magic Dust must surely be better than just a little, right), resulting in a kind of dramatic effect. Could that be dragon blood?

Still, they had lots of fun, learned a bit about natural dyeing - and there are some really fine looking pieces too.

 (The blue coloured leaf print above is Cotinus coggygria (parykbusk). Usually it gives some kind of purple colour, but combined with madder it seems to be more turquoise).

I pre-mordated the silk in a little bit of alum and cream of tartar (vinsten). Leaves, flowers et.c. was placed (with more or less care) upon the fabric. The fabric was then rolled tightly around a stick and secured with cotton yarn. Boiled in the school yard in an enamel pot on a bonfire for about an hour. Opened after two days (because longer is impossible to wait for small people). We're going to make table runners, wall hangings and perhaps an advent calender with the fabric - combined with some solid coloured natural dyed silk fabric - no madder!


  1. hi, looks as if the kids and you had great fun..loved the idea of madder fairy dustxxlynda

  2. oh I wish I was still teaching so I could do this with my class. great results. I know they had fun and learned lots.

  3. What a great way to introduce kids to a hands on skill and appreciation of nature.

  4. Hej Mona. Kikkede lige rundt på flickr, og fandt dig.
    Jeg synes det er fantastiske ting du laver, og en dejlig hjemmeside her.
    Jeg er selv bruger af flickr, og har stor fornøjelse af det, som kunsthåndværker.
    Hilsen Jane Nielsen


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