Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rust dyeing results

I must say that I am pleased with my rust dyeing results. They are better than what I got the last time I dyed two years ago.  In fact some of the pieces I like so much this time that I am over dyeing some of the pieces from the last time. I don’t like it when you get too much white in the piece.

My fabrics.







Pole wrapped using salt, vinegar, steel wool, rubber bands, and copper wire. You get a chemical reaction between the copper and the iron to create really dark marks on the fabric.





Wet scrunched fabric on top of rusted objects. Sprinkled with salt, vinegar, and tiny rust discs.






Stormy skies. Wet scrunched fabric sitting on top of rusty objects and then sprinkled with salt, rust dust, liquid tannin, and Earl Grey tea. The reaction of the tannin and the iron give the lovely blacks. The tannin creates the tan spots. Some areas you get the red browns of iron oxide, and the black specs are from the tea. Some  areas remain white that did not get dyed.






Here is a close up view.  I just love this fabric. It is my favorite. I will enjoy using it in some art quilt some day.






Linking to Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday a day early since I have a busy day tomorrow.

Have you done any rust dyeing? Thanks for reading.



  1. These are really impressive! Not only have I never tried rust dyeing, I've never been tempted to try it. Having dealt with trying to get rust stains out of clothing & knowing how it can eat away at fabric, this is a process I can't understand wanting to do on purpose! Having said that, these are the best results I've seen. I've heard that the rusted spots can be difficult to sew through, like bits of metal. Are you finding that with yours?

  2. The fabric hand is still soft, but I guess I should neutralize the fabrics with a soak in soda ash. I have not made anything with the fabrics so I don't know how they will sew, but I have heard that. For sure they won't be archival. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Wow, Chris - these are really special! I love what you did with the tannin and tea!

  4. Really interesting what adding the tea did to the color. Beautiful set of fabrics now to enjoy using!

  5. I'm doing some rusting as we speak.
    I love the marks that are created and was really interested in your use of copper wire.
    I haven't had any problem with stitching the fabric but I'm currently doing hand stitch first and then rusting.

  6. Lovely, I especially love the gray ones!

  7. Very nice fabrics. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with them.


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