This morning, I completed the final stage necessary before dying my fabric. In the days prior, my process included washing the fibers and mordanting, which allows the colors to stick to the fabric. This took several days from start to finish and resulted in some very white fabric. There are many opinions on how to attain the best colors with natural dyes on vegetable fibers. Instead of weighing any of my materials, I took the route of doing research and eyeballing.
The first thing I did today was treat my fibers in an after-bath of calcium carbonate. This was the final bath before dying. It assures that the mordant has taken to the fabric. After letting it sit for as long as I could, (about an hour and a half at best) I was ready to move forward.
For my first dye bath, I decided to use logwood, which produces a nice purple. Logwood comes from the heartwood of a tree native to Central America. The process was relatively simple. I wet out the dyestuff in warm water and gradually added boiling water to that mixture. I then added it to the dye bath and stirred well, working out any clumps. Next, I added my fabric, five bralettes made from a hemp-cotton blend. They started out as a very light lavender shade and have become much darker with time. I used 2 teaspoons of dyestuff for my bath which equals out to about 10 grams.
Here's a photo of what the color currently looks like. It will lighten as it dries, so I plan on leaving the fabric in the bath at least overnight to try and achieve a deep color. I found the process to be so enjoyable as deeper shades of color became more and more vivid. To see the things I have been visualizing and manifesting for so long finally come to fruition is an exhilarating feeling. Using natural dyes was a common practice before synthetic dyes were discovered. I can honestly say it feels great to be apart of the revival of this ancient art. As always, thank you for being here with me!