Tuesday, September 29, 2009

how I love my washing line

the last of the unwashed fleeces now washed in the sea, rinsed with water at home, now drying next to a compost dyed sweater.

rose leaf bundled cotton washed after curing for a couple of months. I want to do this with felt.

the same next to a compost dyed cotton scarf. I love the khaki colour my compost gives, i wash it out very very well, and I wear the scarves. there is no unpleasant smell, the colours are washfast, I sometimes put them in the washing machine on purpose or by mistake, the colours from the compost have not changed. it is my "dye"compost, I throw plant matter and remnants of dyepots in a metal barrel that is beginning to rust.

these are my summer experiments with bundling fabric with plants from around here and scrap metal. these are cotton and linen, cured for at least a month and rinsed after. I washed with olive oil soap, and there was very little colour in the water, and the fading was untraceable in the fabric. The washing did soften the contours of the prints, a pleasing result. these fabrics were premordanted with ash water (uncalibrated) and either yoghurt or soy milk with repeated dippings and dryings. It makes a huge difference to the fastness and brightness of the colours.

bundle print on linen, eucalypt bark tie-dye with elastic bands (smells lovely)cotton

and, yes, I worked for a day picking grapes. Back- breaking work, hot and dirty, but holding the bunch of grapes in my hand, the juices running along my arm... mmm I was dead tired after the first hour, but went on for six more. lunch was under an oak tree, the best tasting cheese and olives I've ever had. And yes, there were galls in that tree- I'm going to pick them one of these days.
the pay at the end of the day was good, too.

the hills in the background are all burnt.

the bunches of grapes weigh more than a kilo- bountiful little wizened shrubs
the knife they gave me had a lizard on it
and I got to take some grapes home. Luka is being very good- she knows they're there.. the fleece is the one I washed at home, it got quite felted with the repeated rinsing, and I used an awful lot of water- The sea every time from now on for the first cleaning, I'll only rinse the salt out at home with the fresh water because it makes them harsh to the touch.

I'm off to Marathon now, to check the post. Please take a look at attikasos
(click on the word)later today for updates on arrivals for our fundraising project for reforestation after the fires.


Harnett-Hargrove said...

What a beautiful post. Hard work, art, food, appreciation... Do you have a stock pile of dyed good to pull from for projects? -Jayne

Joei Rhode Island said...

So glad to find your blog!

I had thought of using hypericum for dye as I have lots of these lilies in the yard and they are so common people call them "Ditch Lilies" here in New England. Did you use the whole flower or just the pollen on the stamens....which stains everything?

Love the work and experiments you are doing. I look forward to following your posts.

Martine said...

Your washingline looks lovely this way and as i read your a hard worker.
Do you still need material for attikasos?
Look on my blog, i could send the green shawl if you want.

Manya Maratou said...

hello Jayne- the pile is growing. work is slow because we have an early general election coming up, and life seems to come to a standstill until we see what the new government will be

Joei welcome! I'm looking forward to following you posts too
hypericum was whole plants, the duebooks say to use the flowers only, but they were dry and too brittle to separate. see my answer to ladka in the comments to the previous post

Martine, hello, good to see you. Yes we do still need material for our fundraising project, thank you for offering.

Manya Maratou said...

I meant dyebooks- lovely lapsus linguae, my duebooks are screaming for attention ;-)

dorie said...

your washingline is a feast for the eye!

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