Are you eager to get outdoors in the summer?
I love sewing so much that I mourn lost sewing time before I even go on holiday. But, as soon as I’m at the cottage, I want to be outdoors! Dyeing fabric is the perfect outdoor summer textile project.
Every summer, I set myself a creative project that takes me away from my computer and sewing room and puts me in touch with the natural world around my cabin.
Some summers, I have work to do, and bring manuscripts to write or correct, but this often morphs into whittling wood or some other outdoor project.
So, I try to go with the flow. Mostly I amble about the property painting and drawing outdoors.
Occasionally I’ve restricted myself to tonal exercise drawings or some other specific focus.
Some years I paint in oil and acrylic but I love painting with water media most. The flow of liquids is very sympathetic to our lakefront summers.
This summer I’m dyeing fabric and building a collection of marks and motifs, on paper. I will use these to make fabric designs when I return to London, and have time to get digital again.
Summer Dyeing On Cotton
I have done some acid dyeing on protein fibres, in previous summers, but I haven’t played much with dyeing cellulose fibres like cotton, at least not since collage. They can be trickier to set and get vibrant.
However, cotton is affordable and available at the local fabric store, so that’s what I’m using.
Dye Colour Palette
I’m using a restricted palette since I want to avoid clownish or overly muddy colours. By sticking to a monochrome palette, it’s easer to avoid psychedelic results.
It’s difficult to choose a limited palette; I considered a range of blues, or khaki & forest greens but settled on a warm palette. This dried Hydrangea and wild flower arrangement, on my mother’s porch, inspired me.