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Mordant pastes with natural dyes on vintage fabrics

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!

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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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