Thursday, December 28, 2006


I like to wear plain cotton shirts. They feel good and they're more comfortable when I have "power surges". What I don't like is that:

A. Ladies cotton T's cost more than twice the price of men's.
B. I in variably splash tomato sauce on them.
C. The parrot's claws go right through the fabric poking lots of little holes through the shoulders.

That being the case I either walk around in tattered and stained clothes or I replace my shirts more often than the average woman. Which brings me back to A. So I have been buying a lot of men's T's and adding tatting to them. Since I splash a lot of whatever I'm cooking onto my shirts anyway, I was wondering what it would look like if I used natural dyes on fabric and or tatting.

Want to see Cranberry?

For how very red the fruit is, the lace looks kind of purple. I mashed a couple of berries into this little bit of white tatting then rinsed the residue off and washed the lace in a bit of dish soap. The colour isn't even and while I like how it looks on lace, I'm not sure what it would look like on a shirt. Of course if I ran the cranberry sauce, minus the sugar, through a blender, strained it and then left the shirt soaking in it for a good while I might get a darker and more even colour. Judging by the way the cranberry stains aren't coming out of my clothes even with repeated washings, I can be reasonable sure that this colour won't ever run.

The lace is just a little doodle of something or other I was designing so it was a scrap bit. Now that it's such a pretty colour I'll have to do something with it.


Tattycat said...

I absolutely love cranberry, on and off of clothes and lace! This is so pretty. I would never have thought of it. I have, however, been known to embelish stained shirts with bits of embroidery and lace. If it is a particular favorite, I just cover up the stain!

yarnplayer said...

Since I happen to be a handspinner as well as a tatter I have done some dabbling in both natural and chemical dyes.

Sorry to break the news, but natural dyeing isn't really as easy as it sounds, and involves stuff known as "mordants". A mordant makes the dye "bite" into the fiber to make the color permanent. Alum is the safest, and it's not exactly the same as the alum you might have in your kitchen cupboard.

It looks like you got lucky with the cranberries. It is a lovely color; I hope it doesn't fade out for you.