So the experiments have begun. Monique and I collected a range of leaves from the garden and the bush close to home. I had problems finding the wool and silk fabrics recommended but finally found the 10cm X 160cm strip of wool. No silk unfortunately. I had prepared the cotton shirt I had bought and decided to add this as an afterthought, knowing that I might not get any results from it.
As I was working with a child I had to be very careful about safety, so we put on gloves and masks when working with the iron mordent. I also set up the cooking station on the back verandah. I had bought a Chinese steamer at the Op shop and found an old saucepan and bowl that I will only use for this purpose. Working on the verandah keeps those smells and anything else nasty out of the kitchen.
I also bought an old T shirt at the Op shop and cut this up to make wrapping for the bundles along with the string. We were both surprised by the iron mordent results. We got some really clean prints along with some not so clear ones. The highly coloured leaves were not a success and the best results were from the Geranium and Rose leaves. I am going to make this piece into a book cover.
I haven't decided how I will embroider it just yet.
What was surprising was the cotton fabric. We got some really good results. These are now going to be added to all the experiments.
The native plants also gave good results.
We left the fabric overnight and then wrapped and steamed again.
This time the prints were less distinct but still useable.
I did an embroidery experiment with a small piece and made it into a card. This was using the cotton shirt material. Lots of potential here.
I have a very keen assistant.
The next day we did both the copper and allum and now I see why people are not happy with the cotton. Very poor results here but I'm sure I can find a way to use some of these.
There was one piece of fabric that had been put into an iron wash and then allum. This gave an interesting result.
So overall iron seems to work best if you want a dark colour . Now it is time to go back to the chemistry books and do some proper research, in amongst everything else.