How To Dye Curtains With Flowers

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Hello everyone, today I dyed the curtains in my room using an abundance of flower petals that I have been saving in my freezer. I dyed these curtains last year using this technique however I had not prepared the fabric properly so the colours didn’t fix themselves to the fabric and considering that they are curtains so there was some sun bleaching as well. All in all my wonderful curtains that I was very in love with became these faded curtains that needed redoing and that is what I am sharing with you today.

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These curtains were bought from Ikea last year and are made of 100% cotton (which is important for natural dyeing). The only adjustment I made to them was cutting a meter off the bottom because I didn’t want them to go all the way to the floor. After that I should have mordanted my fabric using alum however I did not do that then as I was too impatient and still learning about natural dye techniques using frozen flowers.

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So fast-forward to this year and the re-dyeing of the curtains, I started off by washing them in the machine to get as much dye as possible out. Then I mordanted the curtains using alum. Alum is a mordant that helps to brighten, intensify and set the dyes. And a mordant is acts as a binder/fixative for fabric that you have or are going to dye. You can buy it at some art stores but I get mine from Maiwa in Vancouver who sells everything you need for natural dyeing minus the fresh flowers (but they do sell traditional dried dyes).

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After the mordanting I hung up the curtains to air dry (I would not put them in the dryer since I don’t know what a mordant could do to it). This gives the bundle dye a crisper line to the edges of the petal stains, whereas if the fabric were wet the colours would bleed together more.

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Next I did two rounds of frozen bundle dyeing. One to just get colour on the cotton and a second round because I found that I wanted to add more after seeing the results of the first dyeing. In a frozen bundle dye you just take your dry fabric, lay it out, arrange the petals on the fabric, fold (only if there is way too much fabric to just roll) and roll the fabric, tie it up with string, and just leave it for up to forty-five minutes depending on how much fabric you are dyeing.

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Soon after you tie up the bundle or even before depending on how long it took you to arrange the petals on the fabric colours will begin to bleed out of the flora and into the fabric. Then when you think enough colour has been transferred to the fabric unroll the bundle and shake it out (preferable outside).

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After this the curtains were slightly damp but not wet. If this was fabric for another project, like making a shirt I would go hang up the fabric to dry but considering that these are curtains I just hung them up on the curtain rod to dry. I think they look rather dashing and I am very pleased with them and I pray that they will hold their colour a bit longer this time with the mordant on the cotton.

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But I enjoyed re-dyeing them as it gives you something different each time and it does change the feel of the room also this project doesn’t take a long time to do so it is fun to do in an afternoon or evening. And the results I got this time round were very different from the ones last year.

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That is all for now, enjoy and adieu!

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