Rust Tea

Assortment of Rust Dyed Papers and FabricsI’ve been exploring dyeing with rust. Here’s an assortment of cloths and fabrics that I rust-dyed a couple of weeks ago.

For the rust tea, I purloined some suitable ironmongery from the shed and soaked it outdoors in a pail of vinegar for a few weeks. I allowed rain to fall into the bucket, too.

When I fetched the bucket, the concoction had turned into a dark brown syrup, like balsamic vinegar. When I came to dye, I topped up the potion with rainwater, brought it to the boil and then added my stuffs, and let it all simmer gently for a couple of hours.

I restrained myself from muttering incantations over the pot.

These are the results, dried and ironed. I’ve hand-washed one of the fabric pieces and it’s faded to a lovely soft variegated brown.

I’m a novice at this. Anybody out there doing similar? I’d love to see your work and have your tips.

Steal your ideas.




About AnnIsikArts

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7 Responses to Rust Tea

  1. A couple of years ago when the volcano was upsetting things, we came across a designer in Reykjavik attempting to stain/die fabric using dust and ash from the unpronounceable.
    When I did photography at college, we used instant coffee solution to tint our pics. Not sure how you would fix this with fabrics. Third world fabric designers should have this sort of knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnnIsikArts says:

      I don’t think I’d go as far as trying to dye stuff from corpses. Even I have my limits.

      Coffee is a popular choice. I’d have to research how to mordant (fix) it into the fabric. Can’t get out to the third world just now, but my husband is going off there soon. Just had his jabs today.

      I believe fermented urine is a good mordant. Haven’t tried that, but will!


  2. Susan says:

    I would have loved to hear your incantations. I was just writing about Maeshowe and the tomb of the eagles. Anyway this are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a neat and simple process (by neat I mean cool not really neat it sounds kind of messy actually). I might just give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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