Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Interesting discoveries

Lately I see a lot of hybrid techniques with involved eco print with synthetics dyes.
I guess there is need to more variations of colours and more bright colours which is not easy to achieve with eco print. 

I am not judging anyone and do not pretend to tell the world what is right or wrong. I can only choose my own way and I choose to practise and investigating natural dyes and the possible combination with prints from plants. I'm writing this post to tell and show the results that could achieved with only natural ingredients. 

The last two years I practice natural dyeing in its classical approach. Experimenting with the classic dyes such as Madder, Weld, Indigo, Cochineal, Walnuts, etc... The process involved mordant with alum or iron (depending on the kind of shade I want to get) as a first step and than dye the fabric in solid colour.

After I got some confidence with the dyeing process I wanted to combine my eco print skills with more bright colour as a background. This are two of my first attempts from two years ago.


Irit Dulman


Irit Dulman

The more and more I experiment with the technique, strange  and unexpected results start to appear. Now I can look at this period of experimenting in a positive point of view but it was not easy, it's involved a lot of frustration. I fell and got up and fell again. I checked all possibilities. Printing first and than mordant and dye and the other way around. each way gave different results.

The unexpected surprises was the reactions between the mordant, dyes and the prints the prints. For example, a very bright deep blue print instead of the usual gray-blue from tannin-iron reaction. One day I got a very very unexpected result. The colour of the background in some part of the plant simply disappeared or in dyeing terms, the plants discharge the colour of the background.



Irit Dulman


Irit Dulman

As I progressed through, these results came again and again and I realise that there is something more to explore with was not in my plan in the beginning. I decided to took it to my classes even if the technique was still raw and I did not fully understand what is going on. 
It was AMAZING. So much more possibilities came up during the classes. Colours variation blending with background shade and over-dye which the leaves and discharge prints.

I want to share some of those results by chooseing those who reflect the most this new discoveries.



 Lidija Lazovic Schönig  - The Netherlands ws



Ludmila Maddalena - Uruguay ws



Annamette Andersen - Norway ws



Daniela Henriqson - Uruguay ws



 Corrie Koenen- The Netherlands ws 



 Konni Sswat  - The Netherlands ws



Elisa Suarez - Argentina ws



 Martine Lemmens  - The Netherlands ws



Annie Leynen  - The Netherlands ws




Irit Dulman




26 comments:

  1. that's fascinating, gorgeous results. I have started using symplocos instead of alum, only problem it's not so easy to get hold of, but it's more eco than alum, as it's a fallen leaf from indonesian rainforest traditionally used there, but it helps keep the rainforests from being cut down to grow coffee and gives the local women work. however I can't get any kind of leaf print on top of it as the metal acetates I use turn the base colur almost black. I Have only tried it a couple of times, admittedly, with fabric I dyed a beautiful mustard gold with meadowsweet.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Jane. If I have a chance to put my hands of some I will definitely give it a try.

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    2. Michel Garcia in france sells it but he's quite hard to get hold of, otherwise I think it's Maiwa in Canada

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    3. shortly I will be in Seatle and it will be more easy to order from Maiwa. Thanks

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    4. I've just started experimenting with printing on Symplocos mordanted fabric after I tried the mordant at a stitched resist and natural dye workshop with the amazing Joan Morris. My leaf prints have been light but obvious and the background of the fabric (12mm silk satin) a beautiful light shimmering gold, it's definitely worth persuing further!

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  2. I like your point of persistent using natural dyes. I ca see all the different and beautiful colors of only using natures resources. Also I always remember your teaching of not using copper. Such a great post!

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    1. Thanks Terriea. I'm on the same way/ NO copper for me!

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  3. I've said it before............you are a colormagician.............

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  4. Astonishing!
    I'm there with you too; no copper, tin, or what other mordants there are. NO synthetics! I believe there are so much to learn still about plants and how they can work for us, as long as we pay attention and have patience (and imagination). Actually, after dyeing with plants for many years, I find that my eyes only find pleasure in natural colours. The synthetic colours just don't have anything to say to me. I'm very much looking forward to, what you'll discover next!

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    1. I absolutely agree! the colours from are alive!

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  5. Thank you for sharing! These examples are wonderful. What material are you using?

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    1. I'm using all kind of natural materials.

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  6. Congratulations Irit on your discovery!!!!
    beautiful results!!

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  7. Can u pl tell me how to make mordant without alum

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    1. look at the first comment of Jane. I did"t try it yet myself

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  8. Your effords pay so well! The results are just stuning!

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  9. These are just beautiful, however I don't use alum as a mordant and try only to use materials close to hand, I would love to acheive these results and will try experimenting when we have autumn leaves here.

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  10. You go, Irit! The colours and patterns are beautiful, you have pushed the technique so far, pleasure to follow your progress and work!!!

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  11. You go, Irit. The colours and patterns are wonderful, you have pushed the technique so far! It's a pleasure to follow your progress and discoveries.

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    1. Thanks Monika. You comment arrived safely :)

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