Since late winter, I’ve been experimenting with various mordant pastes with natural dyes on vintage fabrics, trying to get consistent results. Easier said than done, not to mention, quite a bit of trial and error!
But, it looks like I may have things mostly figured out. Sometimes it pays to persist!
I cut my own stencils, using designs that are meaningful to me. Some of the ones I’ve been working with include Lotus blossoms, Elephants and a few with ancient Latvian symbols. These images reflect my influences and loves from my travels, as well as my Latvian heritage.
Although, in the past, I spent much time silkscreening on paper, I prefer to use a brush, when using the mordant pastes. Currently, my fabric pieces are small enough to do this effectively
As I continue working, I’m mixing up my techniques. Mostly I am printing with mordant pastes, which have been formed together with natural dyes, then I have been dyeing the fabric and finishing it off with eco printing. Sometimes, the order is changed up. The results are always, in a word, interesting!
This year, I have decided to use only three dye colours, at one time, which would be the primary colours. These dyes must be lightfast and colourfast! For now, I am dyeing with Indigo, Madder, Osage Orange. As I’m working, some of the fabric is over-dyed to create a new colour ie: Indigo with Madder will result in purple. However, when I make my mordant pastes, I use additional dye matter, such as Marigold or Sappanwood.
I am curious and excited about the possibilities, when combining the various techniques of dyeing, stencilling, and printing with mordants and mordant pastes! I’m looking forward to where this is taking me!