Friday, 20 June 2008

Ferrous Sulphate Dyeing

Yesterday, the urge to dye came upon me. This, in part, was due to the arrival of my order from ArtVanGo. Among the goodies was a bag of ferrous sulphate, looking for all the world like mouldy salt. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing. There was no time like the present, so I went for it.


Instructions come with the chemical, which can also be found here. I'd also seen a variation on the blog of Purple Missus. I did a sort of hybrid method by adding the strong tea brew to the caustic soda solution. I found this knocked back the bright colour created by the iron rust, creating a muddier greying the longer the fabric was exposed. My first reaction was that this had spoiled the effect, but now the cloth is dry and pressed, I think the effect is of extreme ageing which certainly has its place in my palette. I dyed another length of calico with no tea/tannin added and this was much brighter by the time it dried - it's the fabric at the top of the picture. As in indigo dyeing, what you fish out of the pot is not what you eventually get.....

So here's some cloth to add to my collection, and I'll have to think about what I'm going to do with this technique to move it on. It would be interesting to try some rust transfer dyeing over this base cloth to create greater variation, and to consider tie dye techniques and using the tea to create pattern on the surface by dipping, dribbling or shibori methods. Meanwhile, I have these pieces to play with.


Anonymous said...

Very cool! I like the way the colors have turned out.


Susan said...

I really like the softer colors and the lack of strong contrast found in these pieces of fabric. They really do look more like the natural aging of material rather than exposure to some sort of catasphrophic but interesting situation. They suggest history and a sense of being ancient manuscripts or old leather bound book pages. I'll look forward to seeing how you use them. Also, I envy your recent workshop with the amazing Maggie Grey. How fantastic to spend time in the company of talented artists all making individual works. Plus, I had no idea that our name meant "lily"...I have no idea why I never knew the meaning since I intentionally learned the meaning for the names of my children! Anyway, thanks for all the nice comments on my blog and for sharing your talent and work on yours!

Tiggy Rawling said...

Hi there - I just love making 'iron water'. Your results look good. Keep on dipping! Different cloth, different results, and as for over dyeing indigo - amazing.


Prachi said...

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Venessa said...

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