More solar dyeing

I’ve had two attempts at solar dyeing my oneyearone outfit Irish linen top. It is now vaguely yellow but not yet the colour I hoped for. I am thinking of using berries for the next stage – you can see reddish patches on the wet fabric and I think I would like more of those.

Dock leaves stink when they’re soaking so they spent time in the greenhouse rather than the house. Oddly though, the smell went after I left the top out overnight. I am leaving it untouched until I find the right dye. According to this book:

Eco Colour by India Flint

the longer you leave the dye before rinsing the better. And I think the book is wonderful, so I’m following the instructions as carefully as possible.

Much smellier is this:

This is a charity shop blouse (frills now cut off) that I’ve solar dyed in onion skins. It was left for 9 days in the greenhouse and came out that lovely orangey gold. You can see it’s covered in flies & I’m really not suprised. I left it out for 24 hours but have now washed it in soap flakes. It’s clean, pale cream and smelly – worse than the decaying badger I ran past today. Not onion but just horrible. Will it go? I don’t know. It’s still pegged to the covered washing line – I’m trying to keep it in the shade to avoid more fading. It’s a pretty colour now but not wearable because of the smell.

So, no especially successful projects so far but I’ll keep trying & let you know what happens.

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x







Filed under #1year1outfit, Clothes, dyeing, fashion, India Flint, solar dyeing, textiles

14 responses to “More solar dyeing

  1. So cool to see. I hadn’t thought about the smell–I have no idea why. Isn’t milk or baking soda supposed to be good for smells? I have no idea what it will do to the color though. Got this off the internet: 2. Pick up a bottle of cheap, high-proof vodka (any kind will work, but we wouldn’t want the good stuff to go to waste). Mix with water in a spray bottle until the vodka ratio is about 60-70%. Spray it liberally on the area in question. Vodka dries odorless, kills bacteria, and will successfully remove smells. Reddit user and professional theater wardrobe manager kiwiberrie87 swears by it. (Reddit).
    Can”t wait to see the final product for your 1year1outfit top.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. piecefulwendy

    Thanks for sharing your process. I’ve not done any work with fabric dyes, natural or otherwise, in years. I’m enjoying seeing your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the mellow, antique-y look of the onion skin dyed blouse. I’d not expect the skins to make such a lingering odor. I think a hidden lesson here is that if the vegetable is smelly when cut or cooked the odor will linger on the fabric, too.

    I think with your linen blouse there will be a layering effect from the dye. If you use something reddish next, the previous dye job will effect how that red sets in.


    • I hope you are right about the linen top.
      The other blouse has been outside for several days now & has lost most of the smell & unfortunately the colour. Barely more than white now. I am thinking of coffee or tea to restart it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just decided on coffee so now it’s in the dye pot for a few days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keep going and you’ll find out! I tried as a teenager to dye white cotton sheets using blueberries and strawberries. It was my idea of a tie-dyed bedroom look. I used alum as the fixative. When all was said and done the sheets just looked a funny shade of dirty white. My parents said I wasn’t to waste the strawberries the way I did the blueberries.

        I do like the thrift shop blouse, especially the fitted look of it. I hope this works out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks.
        Maybe you didn’t use enough blueberries? I am thinking bilberries as they grow wild here – similar to blueberries.
        The blouse looks good in coffee & we’ve had a sunny day to help it along. I’ll find out in a week.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that had to be it. I remember having a small plastic basket from the fruit store. I’m looking forward to how the coffee interacted with the previous dyeing. Hope it all turns a mellow and even color.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps not yet successful in adding to your wardrobe, but the story of your solar dying attempts are definitely good entertainment

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Solar Dyed and Upcycled | She Sews You Know

  6. Pingback: One Year One Outfit Top | She Sews You Know

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