I begin with Lenzing Tencel®. All my fabrics have been tested and certified by Lenzing. This means that for certain the fibres in my fabrics have been produced in the most ecological way available, using a closed loop system which is 99.5% sustainable. The eucalyptus used in my fabrics has been harvested from FSC certified forests using no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. Lenzing is currently the most awarded producer of fibres in the world, with a long list of impressive credentials, including the European Ecolabel and Oeko-tex Standard 1000.
I scour the prepared-for dye (PFD) fabric and rinse thoroughly.
Then, I premordant the fabric by cooking it in alum and soda ash (wovens) or soaking it in soy milk (knits) and then leave it over night. This step opens the fibres and enables them to receive the colour.
alum soda ash
Meanwhile, I make the dye bath by stewing fresh or dried plant matter, carefully straining the liquid once it has cooled.
madder root pomegranate rinds
rhubarb leaves, cooked walnut husks, cooked and strained
The next step is to soak or cook the fabric in the dye bath, stirring regularly to make sure that each part of the fabric receives the colour evenly and no part of the fabric becomes too hot.
Once the fabric has received the colour, I rinse it thoroughly and then often do a post-mordant. A post-mordant of ash water (wood ash, cooked in water and then strained) will dramatically brighten the colour of the fabric and will “seal” the colour in.
onion from the dye bath onion with ash water post-mordant
A rust post-mordant (iron soaked in vinegar and water for a long period of time) will subtly dull the colour and will also provide a “chemical” bond within the fibres themselves.
rust water onion with rust water post-mordant
Once the post-mordant has rendered the fabric to the colour I want, I rinse and scour the fabric once again. This important step removes all colour that has not bonded with the fabric. I then use Raycafix to “fix” the remaining colour once more to the fabric and then finally wash the fabric in Eucalan, the laundering agent I recommend for all my Tencel® clothes.
…and the results….
…with unlimited variations in colour and texture.
Next, I iron the fabric and cut the patterns I design myself.
sketches and ideas…
creating patterns and laying them out on the fabric
designed for minimal waste,
and labeled with the plant dye used, washing instructions and proudly, the Tencel® label,
…and ready to go…..
to be sold at venues across the GTA.
at Gather in Bowmanville, Queen West Art Crawl in Toronto,
and “Anna’s Dyed Goods” at the Haliburton Art and Craft Festival,
to name a few.