If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice that I have been painting a lot of little clothes and hats lately. Well, what I didn’t share was that I was pregnant and our little girl was born a few days ago!
In this blog post, I will share some of the children’s clothes I painted. I didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, so the colors are pretty neutral. I doubt there will be more pink (avocado dye) and more floral prints when I paint the next size clothes. I can’t wait!
The above dyes are from the following plants: pink taupe – red tree cones, green – yarrow flowers, brown – black tea, purple – then iron / rust-soaked avocado skins, gray – nettle.
The samples were prepared by drawing dilute soy (soy) milk on a cloth and then dyeing it in various dye baths. Proteins in milk act as a binder with dyes, and the patterns are painted a darker color than the background texture.
When you use this technique with tannin-rich dyes such as tea and mahogany, the back fabric will still paint well. Tannins, which occur naturally in dyes, play the role of mordant.
As you can see, the nettle dye is very pale without soy milk – see how light it is in the background, but it makes the dyed milk pattern even more prominent.
I painted my last baby with this technique with a set of vests and the colors lasted very well. One of the original vests from more than 4 years ago is shown below – on the right with an unbleached / creamy fabric.
Check out this other blog post for a full lesson.
Fresh leaf indigo dye
I also dyed a cotton hat with fresh indigo leaves (Japanese indigo / Persinaria tinctoria). I had a small handful of leaves (only 5 g!) And I was so happy that I could use it to paint something special.
This other blog post has a complete lesson on salt rubbing techniques.
After the fabric is washed, the green oxidizes and the chlorophyll is washed away, leaving a favorite blue color.
My favorite color should be green from yarrow flowers. Although washed several times, they are still very green!
Want to paint something special for yourself?
All these dyes and techniques would work well in adult clothing! Why not paint yourself something special?
My first book, Botanical Color at Your Fingertips, will help you start painting plants in the simplest way. Enjoy your projects!