Monday, June 16, 2014

Fashion Chemistry

I have recently undertaken to revamp my entire wardrobe from scratch. As part of my process I have been playing around with dyes. I started with a box of Rit dye left over from a previous project, but in general I like to use more natural products when possible. While I have done quite a bit of plant dyeing with silks and wool, I know that dyeing cotton is a more complex process (plant fiber vs. protein/animal fiber) with more steps to make it colorfast. However, I decided to dive right in and experiment.

I experimented on some cotton t-shirts. I used turmeric because I wanted a deep golden color, it was easily accessible, and I was under the impression it didn't need any mordents or fixers.

I was pretty happy with the results. I liked the buttery yellow, but I wish it had stayed as saturated after one wash as it was immediately after dyeing.

Then I decided to take it for a test run and just wear it one day. I am so glad I did! It happened to be a hot, humid day, and we went on a nice long walk. About half way through our walk I noticed that I had BRIGHT PINK pit stains! I could only laugh. At first I thought the turmeric had interacted with sweat, but then it dawned on me that it was more probable that it was the baking soda I use as deoderant.

While I will probably not be wearing that perticular shirt as is again, I am looking forward to more fashion experiments!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

White Sunday

Whitsun Day.
The birthday of the Christian Church.

I had never really celebrated Whitsun before, so way back in April I signed up to participate in a festival swap. There were 20 of us involved, from all around the country, and we each made a few Whitsun themed decorative items. The themes were mostly fire (reminiscent of the tongues of flame which came to rest upon the apostles heads in Acts 2:3), and doves (reminiscent of the descent of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4). The items then went to the "hostess'" house where they were sorted. Then we each eagerly awaited a package of surprise items for our own Whitsun celebration. Totally fun!

I decided to make a wall hanging depicting the tongues of flame.

I tried many versions in many mediums before I settled on colored pencils and a mono-chromatic scheme.

The final version:

Our package was almost entirely fire themed as well. Here are our beautiful gifts on the seasonal table!

Happy Feast of Pentecost!