Cotton fabric dyed with Sappanwood

Cotton fabric dyed with Sappanwood was my new project, after having completed 20 cotton tunics over  seven months. I have decided to spend the next period on dyeing lengths of cotton, linen and quite possibly silk fabrics.

The intention is to later have these fabric lengths sewn into practical items (cushion covers, tablecloths etc) or possibly clothing.

Some of the fabric is sourced from thrift shops, and others I have bought from fabric stores.

The first dye that I used on this piece of cotton fabric was Sappanwood

This dye comes from the heartwood of a tree found in Asia. I bought the dye last year, in powder form, when I was in India. After the first extraction, I have dried the powder for future use.

Sappanwood (or Indian Redwood) is closely related to Brazilwood, which due to exploitation is now considered to be endangered

The colour that is produced ranges from bright orange to blue-red depending on various factors (water, mordants used, fabric, quantity). The dye may change colour if exposed to light on a frequent basis (ie: as curtains).

Sappanwood is an authentic red dye from the medieval period

This piece of fabric will be reworked with other dyes and eco printed. My first step was to do shibori stitching on the two ends of the fabric. The cotton fabric dyed with Sappanwood was further dyed with Chilca, a dye plant native to Peru. The colour of the Chilca dye is a vivid gold/green. During this step, the intense colour of the Sappanwood became somewhat washed out. So, I restitched and once again dyed the two ends of the fabric in Sappanwood. Below is the result:

Next, I did some eco printing in the middle yellow section using mostly Maple and Cotinus leaves.

After eco printing

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Hi. I'm Maija.

Producer of one of a kind fabrics, I am a Visual/Textile Artist at MaiTribe Studio Gallery, in central Ontario, Canada.

My life and art have been inspired by my travels  to countries such as Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Bali and India.

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