A few weeks ago, after my first eucalyptus picking experiments, I was desperate to go on another trip. I had a few scarves ready to dye, and I chose to compare them to soybeans, which are bamboo, cellulose fabric, and protein fabric.
Eucalyptus leaves were torn by my baby son who wanted to help me 🙂
When I opened the bamboo scarf, the smell of eucalyptus was incredible! I couldn’t believe how dark and rich the signs were. The bamboo fabric last produced apricot colors, so I was amazed at the reds!
The next day I used the eucalyptus leaves again and tied them with a soy / organic cotton cloth (50/50 mixture) and added a few fresh leaves as well. (Since the fabric has a bit of cotton in it, I still treated it with soy milk in the usual way to help get the color.)
When I opened the piece, the result was not as impressive as bamboo, but I liked the range of different colors. I saw the leaf prints painted on this piece in more detail. The color did not flow from the sheets of fabric like bamboo, so each print was different. I doubt there will be more color left on the soybean piece (compared to bamboo) after washing, but I will have to wait and see.
The reason I’m interested in trying a piece of soy is that it has a protein fiber like wool and silk, but of course it’s plant-based. As a vegetarian, I don’t use any animal products, but I appreciate that protein fibers absorb plant dyes better than cellulose fibers such as cotton and bamboo. Soy tissue looks like a way to solve this moral problem and allows you to test protein fibers.
Some vegans use “peace silk” where silkworms are not killed, but as far as I understand, even silkworm production of silk in this way is far from cruel and involves the exploitation of living things.
The bamboo fabric on the left produced pink and red, which I would describe more as spring colors, and the soy mixture on the right is more autumn.
These scarves will go on sale in a few weeks. I don’t rinse the fabric for a few weeks to help keep the colors strong. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it!