Finishing up my naturally dyed tunics. Only one more tunic to go! I have a favourite, cotton tunic which I bought on my first trip to India. It came from a fair trade shop in Jodhpur, across the street from a small step well. This tunic had been dyed with mud resist and natural dyes and had some simple, vertically lined stitches running the length of it. (I’m always a sucker for stripes!) It was made of cotton and the colour was a pale olive green. The mud resist design showed creamy, yellow thistles.
Over the years, especially when I travel, this tunic is my mainstay
It has faded a bit and the fabric has become soft. It’s been washed regularly in the washing machine, often thrown in with all the other clothing. No special treatment, for this keeper!
When I went to Jaipur, India last winter, I had 20 cotton tunics sewn, using the pattern of my original tunic. For me, this tunic is so versatile and comfortable, I think that other women might feel the same.
I have spent much of this spring and summer, dyeing these 20 tunics, with some of the dyes that I bought in India and those that I’ve made myself
Pretty much all of the tunics also have some shibori resist stitching and many of them have eco printing as well.
This process has been a huge learning experience for me. I’ve learned much about various dye plants, mordants, tannins. I’m still working out the “why” of reactions between different compounds/solutions. Chemistry was never my forte, but it’s a pleasant learning curve for me.
I’m nearing the end, with this endeavour and I truly must say, that I’d be happy to wear any single one of these tunics! They are all exquisite!
Some of the dyes that I have used: cochineal, sumac, lac, walnut, henna, reed, indigo, logwood, madder, alkanet, osage orange.