Natural Dyeing: Transform Cloth Using Food Dyes with The Dogwood Dyer | Liz Spencer | Skillshare

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Natural Dyeing: Transform Cloth Using Food Dyes with The Dogwood Dyer

teacher avatar Liz Spencer, The Dogwood Dyer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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About This Class


Using only organic plant matter such food waste intended for the compost, and naturally occurring minerals such as iron & aluminum, you will gain knowledge and experiment with the time honored art of natural dyeing.
In this class you will come away with an understanding of how to work with natural colors to achieve the most vibrant and long lasting results while learning about traditional shibori surface design techniques. Liz will lead a tutorial in her professional outdoor dye studio demonstrating some of her favorite low impact dye extraction methods using scraps from common food items.

Most everyone has had to donate or downcycle garments or linens at some point due to everyday wear, spills, accidents and laundry mishaps. Following the dye techniques from this class, you can mask unsightly stains using accessible, kitchen safe dyes.  All you need to breathe new life into an old or stained garment for this project is the food of your choice and a few common household tools. No prior knowledge on textiles or dyes is required. This project is for anyone looking to create and experiment with beautiful colors while doing no harm to the planet, your home and your body.





Meet Your Teacher

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Liz Spencer

The Dogwood Dyer


Liz Spencer is owner and operator of The Dogwood Dyer, an all-natural dyeing service that uses locally grown and foraged plants as well as ethically sourced dyestuffs to help create sustainable accessories, garments, and home goods. Her process involves minimal water consumption, with 80 percent of the refuse water recycled back into her gardens. An advocate for the education of ethically conscious design, she teaches sustainability, fashion, and natural dyeing at FIT and Parsons The New School for Design, and she spent a year as a venture fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. Spencer holds a BA from Linfield College, in Oregon, and an MA in sustainable fashion from the London College of Fashion. She teaches workshops independently in southern California and the New York ... See full profile

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1. INTRO: Hi, My name is Liz Spencer and I and the Dogwood Dyer. I am a national dyer working in New York City and Southern California. I'm also an educator. I teach textiles, natural dyes, sustainability and fashion. At Parsons, the New School for Design and F i. T. I'm a natural diet Gardner as well. Many of the things that I used to put color onto cloth. I grow myself, and I've had the incredible honor to foster great natural dive projects in London, New York City, Brooklyn and now, here in Southern California. I love natural dyes. Natural dyes are colors that can be extracted from plants, earth, minerals and even a few varieties of insects. Almost all parts of plants can be used for natural dyes. The roots, Berries, stems, the leaves and even the would not advise are so appealing to us because we've evolved to love them. Our eyes can see the richness and the depth that's unparalleled and incomparable to synthetic dyes really experiencing a resurgence in popularity in fashion, textiles and in craft eye movements. I love natural dyes because of their natural beauty and depth that you can achieve with synthetic dyes. 2. OVERVIEW OF NATURAL COLOR: This is my die portfolio, and it shows quite clearly that natural dyes are not boring and that you really can get quite a beautiful spectrum of color from from plants and minerals and even a few varieties of insects. This is actually an insect called Kush Neil that grows on the prickly pear cactus and accumulates this beautiful, vibrant pink color. They can also become red or purple. Um, there are lots of beautiful neutrals, um, and pinks and beiges and yellows and nature as well. And many plans actually produce more than one color from different parts of it. Such assume AC. The Berries can give this really beautiful coppery orange color, and the bark and leaves can give this yellow and green color. Sumac is actually one of my favorite plans to collect from the wild because it's so valuable, and it has so many wonderful properties. There's also a lot of wonderful commonly found food products that can create really beautiful colors such as tea, and when combined with iron, you can get really beautiful grays that can almost approach black and their exotic plants to that aren't edible but highly valued for their really vibrant colors such as Matter route, which is historically been used for thousands of years by tapestry designers and makers to create this beautiful red color. And then, through exhausting the dye bath, you can get really pretty peachy pink colors. Another food that will be working with today is avocado, and from avocado skins and pits, you can get a beautiful pink color. I love exploring the area around my my home here in Southern California, especially because of the eucalyptus that's here. A specific type of eucalyptus can give this really beautiful red on wolf Black beans is another food dye stuff that we're going to be working with today, and when prepared properly, you can get a really beautiful sleep. Blue color blue is actually really rare in nature. Log witnesses has historically been used and valued because of its very rare color. Purple black walnut is another edible die stuff. It's actually a waste product that can be used for the diets, the husk that surrounds the black walnut net that has the dye properties. Any time that I confined a waste stream to tap for my natural dye stuff, I love using things that are going to be composted or thrown away. Golden Rod is one of the sunniest yellows you confined poke Berries or quite abundance all over the United States. It's really there's no limit to the colors that you can find in nature. Pinks, purples, again, more yellow. Yellow is really common in the natural world. I would say it's Mother Nature's favorite color. Probably, I would say, 90% or the majority of plants that will give a color will give the color yellow. Many plants that are already existing in your garden are actually quite valuable for their die properties, such as Dahlia. Other flowers like Holly Hawk agro Lots of Purple Holly Hawk for this really pretty purple color. Other edibles, such as purple basil, can give this sleep blue color. It's categories is as an anthro SIA nine color and all anthocyanins are actually good to eat to. So anything that's purple in the vegetable or fruit world, unless you know that it's poisonous is really great for you because has lots of anti oxidants, so purple basil, eggplant, red cabbage, black beans, black rice they all have antioxidants, and they all make really beautiful colors as well. Elderberries any Berries have lots of anthocyanins. Wild fennel is all over California, and I've forged quite a bit, and it gives such a beautiful yellow beetroot I've used. If beats aren't your favorite vegetable and you find them sort of kicking around in your refrigerator, have no fear and use them as a diced up hibiscus is commonly found all throughout California, especially Southern California, where I live and the colors can be changed with modifiers. General, you get this really pretty pink color, but you can change it to a more purple lee blue color. And here's some more experiments with hibiscus, and depending upon the type of water that you used for the dying, you can get wildly different colors, and that's mine portfolio. 3. KEY CONCEPTS: in this class, you'll learn how to create color on cloth using only food, much of which is food scraps or food waste, and all of them can be found at your local grocery store. You'll also be using a few common kitchen and household tools to breathe new life into old stained clothing or linens, rendering them wearable and usable again. No prior knowledge on textiles are dies is required, and this project is really just for anyone looking to create an experiment with beautiful colors while doing no harm to the planet, your home and your body. Most everyone has had to down cycle or donate a stained piece of clothing or a bed, linen or table linen. But this class you'll learn how to actually, um, ask those unsightly stains using natural color from foods. All you need for this class is a garment or a linen that you already have your food of your choice as your die and a few common household tools. The key concepts for this class are natural dyes versus synthetic dyes, pigments versus dies down, cycling versus up cycling and fabric types toe. Look for for this project. First, I'll explain the difference between a dye and a pigment. A pigment is most commonly used by a painter and can be used in combination with the binder , such as acrylic for oil and usually sits on top of the substrate or the canvas in which it is covering a di. Molecularly bonds to the fabric and in combination with a fixative, will be wash fast without the worry of the color washing out. Now we'll explain the difference between natural and synthetic dyes. Natural dyes come from the natural world, mostly from plants and all parts of the plants. They can come from roots, Berries, bark wood. You can also come from minerals and insects. Synthetic dyes are synthesized in a laboratory or a factory and are derived from petroleum or oil. Natural dyes are not as light fast, which means that they can fade with exposure to light and can also fade when washed. But when applied properly and done in the correct way, naturalized can be vibrant and last for years. The next key concept is fabric type. There are lots of fabric types out there, but the best that work with natural dyes are natural fabrics. I'm holding here three of the most common natural fabrics. Well, silk and cotton. They're two categories of natural fibres. Protein and plant protein come from animals still comes from the silkworm, and wall comes from a sheep. The's tender work really well with natural dyes. The other category of natural fibres is plant fibers. Cotton. Him and linen are some of the most common plant fibers out there. You probably have a lot of cotton in your wardrobe already. Today I'll be working with cotton. Natural fibres work really well with natural dyes, so make sure that for this project you pick a natural fiber. The next key concept is up. Cycling versus down cycling. You probably heard these two terms before. When you recycle something, it generally goes to be chopped up and then made into something of lesser value. When you're up cycling, which is what we'll be doing today, you take something and actually add more value to it, such as with this old stained T shirt that we've died with onion skins. It makes it more valuable because it's more beautiful and you're more likely to wear it 4. COLLECTING YOUR DYESTUFF: in this project will be working with three different foods to create three different beautiful colors. The first is black beans and cabbage from what you can expect really beautiful blues and greys. The next is avocado skits and avocado pits, from which you could expect pinks and beige. And the last is onion skins. From what she can expect is really beautiful yellows and oranges, you can collect your dye stuffs over time by saving your onions, kids skins and pits, and also your avocado skins and pits. Or you could even approach your local grocery store to see if they'd be happy to give you their off cuts. Or even our local restaurant that's going to be composting are throwing away their onion skins and avocado pits and peels. I've collaborated with restaurants in the past where they were happy to give me their onion skins and peels, as well as their avocado pits and skins, so that I could use them for colorful projects. 5. ESSENTIAL TOOLS: for this project. Thes air all the materials you'll need a bucket or two. Something to die like an old T shirt, a heat source. Ah, hotplate or even your kitchen stove will do well. A pot rubber gloves, spoons, including a long handled spoon and measuring spoons. Air helpful cheesecloth for straining You're Morden for pre fixing materials to do your show. Bori techniques such as clamps, wooden blocks and twine, and maybe even some PVC piping. And the optional materials that could be really be helpful include a tea kettle, a food scale and then for color, changing pH sensitive materials such as vinegar and baking soda and pH test strips as well . Aziz Iron Liquor. I'll show you how to make the iron liquor later. 6. SCOURING & PRE FIXING: Okay, so now we're ready to get started with our natural dye project. First you find your garment, and after you decided on the the garment or the fabric that you'd like to die, you need to scour it and pre treat it so that it accepts the color. Scouring is just a fancy word for, ah, hot water wash. You want to scour, especially if you're using something that's brand new just to ensure that you remove all of the dirt and oils and starches from the manufacturing process. But since I'm working with cotton fabrics that or garments that have been warned many times and washed many times, we don't have to worry about scouring. The next process is called mordant ing. This is the fixative process, and this. Make sure that your natural color stays is bright and vibrant as possible for as long as possible. It will make sure that with constant exposure to light and lots of washes, the color stays true. Mordant is a word that comes from the French word more dra, which means to bite. It's basically just helping the color bite onto the cloth. Since I'm using cotton the morning, I'm using today is called alum Ask State. And in order to figure out how much you actually need, you have to determine the weight of your fiber. And with that, you can use a food scale. I prefer food scales that have grams as well as ounce measurements, because grams are a little bit more precise. So I turned my scale on Turn it to Grams and then way my fabric. It's about 180 grams. So after I have my fabric weight, then I'll know exactly how much more than to use. The rule of thumb is to use 5% of the weight of the fiber mordant, since our fabric weighs 180 grams who want to use nine grams of ala massive Tate. So again, using your scale, measure out nine grams of ala massive Tate Allah. Massive take can be found at botanical colors as well as Dharma treating. That's two grams, six grams almost there, right there we go nine grams, and then you add your hot water to your alum, stirring to make sure that it's well integrated and thoroughly mixed and dissolved. We'll let that sit and come back to it after it set a little bit, just to make sure that it's all dissolved well. But while that's happening, I'm going to Prewett my fabric. So it's important that before you do any more dancing or dying that you always Prewett your fabric. This insurers a really even uptake of die because it's just plain old water. And since this is on older garment and it's been washed and warned many times, it really just sucks up the water pretty quickly. So but you can Prewett your fabric for upto eight or nine hours. You couldn't do it overnight just to make sure that it's thoroughly wet. So that's pre soaking. And then here in my second bucket, I have, um, just plain old water again. After my Morden is thoroughly fixed or thoroughly mixed, I'm gonna add it. Teoh, my morning bucket that makes it just a little bit more, and it'll all be mixed. And then, while stirring my Morton bucket, the water, I'll add my mordant right. You want to use enough water so that the garment that you're putting into your mordant can flow freely. You don't want your garment to be crowded, you want to make sure that you can that you can mix it and stir it pretty easily. So just take your fabric that's been pre so and added into your mordant you can just stir it with a spoon. If you want to go in with your hands, I would advise putting on gloves more. Dent's, such as metal salts like alum acid ate that were using today, um, are pretty benign. They come from natural sources there, actually a natural metal salt but alum, which is commonly used. And it's the active ingredient and deodorant. It's used in pickling to make your pickles crispy and maraschino Cherries to make Cherries crispy, but just like anything in nature. Um, being explosive something over a long period of time is not necessarily good. So if you put your hands into the natural mordant, just make sure that you are gloves also. Same with mixing your die materials with your food materials. Since this is a cold process with the mordant ng of the cotton T shirt, you don't have to use one of your cooking vessels or cooking pot. Um, but if you were to do this in ah, hot process, which you can. You want to make sure that the pot that you use is not something that you're going to prepare food and later just to be play on the safe side. But I love this Allah massive Tate process because it's completely cold. You can do it in an old bucket, Um, and you don't have to worry about contaminating any of your food prep tools. A couple more things on more tinting After you've put your fabric or your garment in tier mordant bath, you want to leave it there overnight. And if you can, up to two days, maybe even three days, the longer the better. But you also want to make sure that you stir it quite frequently every time I go by my morning bath. Alster it maybe every couple of hours on the stirring. Just make sure that there's no splotchy nous or no sediments of mordant sitting on your fabric and creating unevenness. But generally overnight is all you need to get really great Morton adherence to your fabric . You can also speed this process up by heating it up. If you find an old pot that you want to devote to more knitting and dyeing all the better, heated up to just before boiling and then turn the heat off, cover it and let it heat. And then again, you can leave it overnight or you could go directly to to the dying process. This basically just speeds up the process, but you don't have to. You can always just do a cold morning process and remember that more tinting is really important. It ensures that you get really bright color light fast results The metal salt Morten's like alum are really advantageous because of the fact that they leave no color on the cloth as you'll see when we take this out of our morning bath will be no color on so that we can retrieve really bright, beautiful colors. There are lots of plants that have more than 10 properties, but the biggest disadvantage with those is that they leave a little bit of color onto the fabric with metal salt Morton's that have been used for thousands of years. The best thing about them is that you get a really bright, beautiful color. Now that we have more tinted are garment, we're ready to move forward to the next step, which is to make sure that we get all over the morning off. Um, this could be done really easily with wheat bran. It's really important that in between more denting and dying, you get all that excess board and off before you put it into the dye bath. This will ensure really even saturated colors. It's not absolutely necessary, but I found that it really makes for a richer, more beautiful colors. So after you've let your garment Morton overnight, um, you prepare a wheat bran back. I like to use 3/4 of a cup of wheat brand her medium size cotton garment, which is what we're using. It can actually use this week friend Bath, um, three or four times until it's completely done. So it was measuring out 3/4 cups of wheat bran you can find. We brand at most health food stores, Um, or you can order it online, but almost every health food store will have. We brand it's really inexpensive, and it's actually the phosphates that exist in wheat brown that helped get all that excess Morton off, um, to ensure really beautiful color, right? Or more spoonful. I think so that's 3/4 cups, 3/4 of a cuff. After measuring at your wheat brand, you want to add warm water. I like to let it sit for a few minutes. Probably five minutes or so. Um, give it a nice little stir. The warm water will extract the phosphates from the wheat brand, and you could put this into water and then take your garment from the morning bath. But I like to strain it so that the wheat bran doesn't stick to the fabric. So after five minutes of your wheat brand extracting into your warm water, then you wanna sift it into a bucket of water. Um, I found that you can use an old metal wire mash strainer in combination with cheesecloth to make sure that all of the wheat brand stays in the sifter and doesn't go into your bath. And then you can even just push on the wheat bran to make sure that all of that water goes in to your reporting. That and you could even do this two or three times just to make sure that you fully extracted all the phosphates from the wheat brown, and then this can go into the compost, and then after you have extracted your we friend, the next step is to take your garment out of the mordant, making sure that if you put your hands into the morning bath, you put on your rubber gloves. First, you can go directly into the wheat bran bath, or you can rinse it off in between. Either way, the wheat bran and the phosphates will do the work for you with removing all that excess mordant so that when we die, we get really great, even saturated colors that don't look chalky. And then this needs to stay in the wheat bran bath only for a few minutes. You just want to make sure that you get it, that all parts of the fabric or the garment have been saturated by the we'd bring bath, and then after a few minutes have gone, you can take it out and you can go straight to dying. At this point, 7. EXTRACTING COLOR FROM FOOD: Okay, so the next step is dying Well, actually first before that, or what we've got to get the die, and that's called extraction. The color comes from the dye stuff through time and access to water, so the three dye stuffs that we're going to be using and this project include onion skins, avocado skins and pits and black beans. And the great thing about these three food dyes is that you don't have to sacrifice the food for the dye stuff. These air all dye stuffs that are by products of the eating and food process. The skins have the color in both onions and avocados that pits as well for avocados and then with black beans. The color actually comes from the soaking period before you cook the beans. So if you have dry black beans and you soak them overnight, save that water and use it immediately for dying because that's all of the color potential . And then you can go on and use the black beans teat with onion skins. Uh, the main color component is called Flavin all, and it produces a really beautiful gold yellow color. I like to save both red and yellow onion skins because they actually give different colors , and so I'll usually just save them separately and then use them for different dye baths. Today we're working with yellow onion skins I've collected quite a bit on. I have a friend who saved all of her yellow onion skins for me from her restaurant. Um, you could very well do the same thing. You could talk to a restaurant owner and see if they're willing to give you their onion skins. You go to a grocery store and see if they would be happy to give you onion skins or just save them up over time. Um, and the more you use, the better. So I would say that this jar is completely full of onion skins and water and the process of extraction for, um, the onion skins as is. All of these is very simple. It's literally just putting in fresh water and waiting. You can speed up that process by applying heat with, um, you know in your pot on a heat source on that really will help get out all of the color from the dye stuff. But you don't necessarily have to one of My favorite techniques is just making ah, extraction from it in a glass jar, um, with water and the dye stuff, putting it in a sunny windowsill and walking away, and let time and and the solar energy of the sun do the work for you. And so, after I would say, about a week or so of a slow cold, cold water extraction or solar die, you'll have a really strong extraction of color toe work with avocado skins and the pits. Actually, I found that the pits have more color potential than the skins. So every time you eat an avocado, you can save the pit and say the skin, clean it off really well, dry it in a well ventilated place like a window sill, and then, after a month or so, you'll probably have enough to create a dia bath. This is a about 20 avocados worth, I'd say, which is plenty enough to die 3 to 5 T shirts worth and more. Um, my avocado dye bath that has 20 avocado skins and pits worth home has still been going after dying three garments, just like with onion skins with avocado skins and pits. It's a cold water process, but you can apply heat if you like. Um, the heat will expedite the process and make it go faster. You'll get more color out of, um, out of your diet stuff, but you could also just, you know, do it in the solar method in ah, glass jar in a sunny window. Black beans, um, also can be extracted cold in a cold water process. I wouldn't actually ever apply heat with black beans. You really want to use it as soon as you can, and you don't even have to wait a week. You can literally just soak it overnight on. Use that water immediately. 8. COLOR MODIFICATION & CARE: and then to care for your naturally die good. You can rinse it in cool water and wash it with eco friendly soap. A lot of times, natural dyes tend to be pH sensitive, which means that if you put them in an alkaline or an acidic environment, um, it can change the color, especially with avocado skins. It's fun to play with. I recommend getting a little bit of vinegar and baking soda and playing with your dive bath to see what color you can change. I actually have an example here to show the different sorts of colors that can be achieved . The more pink shade is actually achieved with adding something that's alkaline tiered I, Beth like baking soda. And here the more peachy color is actually achieved by adding more acidic something like lemon juice or vinegar, and one more word about modification of color. Almost all natural dyes are very sensitive to iron modification iron as another metal that can also be used as a mordant but is really useful for the natural dire because it can change the color quite a bit. It really has ah darkening effect on almost all colors, so as you see, there's a little bit of, um, iron on in my clamp and that affected the color of, um, my actual outcome on my Utah j'aime Resist shirt. And the same goes. You could create a solid color of grey or black by adding a little bit of iron mixture into any of your dye baths or doing an iron after bath and to create an iron liquor or an iron bath. You could do that easily at home by taking a little bit of vinegar and water, equal parts and adding something that you know will definitely rust. I like to use steel wool nails, anything that will definitely rust over time. Um, you can put those directly into the vinegar and water and then let it sit for a few weeks, and over time you'll get this rusty colored liquid, which can then be added to a larger bat, and then you add your fabric after it's been dyed and you'll see the color change almost immediately. You can let it sit for maybe a few minutes until you get um on almost completely different color and color modification is incredibly fun to play with. Almost All dies have some sort of modification ability 9. MODERN TIE DYE- SHIBORI: So now that we've prepared our fabric with the fixative and extracted are color from our dye stuffs. Now it's time to move forward into surface design. I'm gonna be showing you three different show Bori techniques that are my absolute favorites. Arashi is the Japanese word for storm, and it's the art of poll binding. Basically, um, you wrap the fabric around a pole or anything that cylindrical, you can use an old wine bottle. Master Japanese Dyer's actually use wooden pools. PVC pipe works just as well. You can get PVC pipe at a local hardware store or even at Home Depot and have him cut it to the size that you like. You really don't need much more than a foot, maybe two feet on. Um, you can use this technique on fabric and garments, but the larger the garment. Generally, I found the whiter the pipe that it calls for and what you'll need for this technique. Is the pipe or anything cylindrical like a wine bottle? Um, probably something to keep the fabric on while you're wrapping it like some tape or clothes , pins and some twine. I really like to use just plain old cotton twine that is unguided because if the twine or the thread that you're using is died, it there's a possibility of it of the die bleeding onto the fabric. So good old unde I'd unbleached cotton twine is my go to for a rush E. One of my favorite ways to prepare the fabric before you put it onto the pole is two. Fold it and the, um, the best way to fold, I found, is to do an accordion fold, and the way to start that off is to layer fabric out flat, then find the middle by folding it in half lengthwise and then to create the accordion fold . You want to fold back the sides towards the center, the same thing on the other side, holding back the sides to meet the center. And this basically just makes it more manageable when you're working with the fabric on the pool. But you don't necessarily have to pre accordion folder fabric. Before you put it onto the pole, you can put the fabric or the garment straight on to the pool and then start wrapping your toying okay, so once you're fabric is folded or not, then you can put it on to the PVC pipe, and I like to start by actually putting it on at an angle so that when I wrap it around, it comes back to meet like this. This gives a really nice effect, but to start off, I'll use a couple of close friends to keep this fabric up on the top while I start to wrap the 20. Starting off by just wrapping the twine around once and tying a nice sturdy not to keep it there up top. You can adjust your fabric down so that it's just a the very top of the pipe. If you're fabric site enough, you can use tape, too. Then, while it's raft, you start to wrap the twine, and at this point, this is where you actually have a little bit of control over the surface design that you're creating. Uh, you can start to wrap your twine, um, with lots of space in between each row, or you can go. You can wrap it very tightly so that there's only maybe a centimeter or so in between each rap. Basically, the more times that you wrap and the more concentrated your raps are, the less die there will be on the fabric, and the more lines will be created. But this is something that I would say. Um comes with much practice in knowing how tight to wrap the twine. You want to wrap it tight enough so that it will actually keep the fabric and keep its resist on the fabric so that it prevents the die from going where the twine is. But you don't want to wrap it so tight. That's when you get to the part where you need to scrunch it down. You can't because it's wrapped so tightly, so tight enough, but not too tight. And you can very the wits between your raps. Or you can stay quite consistent. Um, it's all up to you and you'll see that it it results in a very different sects. And then once you get to the end, you can cut twine, pull it pretty tight, anti another study now and then I take off my questions, turn it upside down so that I have something sturdy toe leverage against, and then I'll push all the fabric down towards the bottom, making sure that it doesn't fall off the bottom and the tighter that you push it down, the more of a resist there will be, and the more, um crevices that you're creating to prevent the die from seeping in. You have the choice of pre wedding the fabric before you put it onto the PVC pipe, or you can leave it dry like I have. And then then you can true what it and go straight on to dying. The next report technique I'm going to show you is something called Tajani. It's a Japanese word for board and squeeze, Um, so basically, the concept is to take a piece of fabric and to fold it strategically and then sandwich it between two wooden boards with a really tight bind. And then that will be died. And the folding in combination with E wooden board resists will create geometric patterns. So the first step in preparing your fabric or your garment for the Taj May method is to, um, prepare an accordion fold, which basically is just a back and forth fold, like you would if you were making a paper fan and to do to start off. I like to find the center of my fabric or my garments. If I were folding a T shirt, I just fold it in half lengthwise and then this way I have my center determined, and I can fold it back once and decide if I want to work on this scale or if I want to go even smaller. This also is dependent upon the size of the wood blocks that you're working with. Um, you can also use if you don't have wood blocks or if you don't want toe, make them. You can use things like mason jar lids, um, or anything else that's firm that you have a pair of that you can use to sandwich your fabric between. I'm gonna work on this scale because this is a really nice size for the size block that I'm working with. So once I determine my scale, then I can do the actual accordion fold. So we're working on this scale. So I spurt start first by folding in one direction and then folding backwards, unfolding again in the other direction and so on and so forth. I've often found to that working with fabric that has been Prewett is makes this folding process much easier, but it also works well with with dry fabrics. Or you can use an iron if you want Really, really precise folds. Then, after you've done your accordion fold, this is where you can determine whether or not you want, um, geometric shapes that are very precise and you want very little color or, if you want quite a bit more color. Um, I would like there to be a triangular pattern with not much color, more of a striking surface design. So I've decided to do a fold that's the same in the shape of my block. And I saw Seles Triangle Block, Um, you can start by folding in the corner and then full naked in on itself. And here you can see the shape of the Assad Seles triangle take shape. And then once I've done those 1st 2 folds and tucked in that excess, then I started to fold it back and forth like I did with the accordion fold. You're doing another accordion fold, but just this time you're creating a sheep, so one direction, then the next direction. Then this direction, then back again. And then there's almost always a little bit of fabric left over, and I like to just full that in, as opposed to folding it back so that it's neatly tucked in. Then you have you're folded fabric. You place it between two matching blocks. Um, my best piece of advice If you're going to be using these wooden blocks that have been put into the dye bath multiple times, As you can see, mine is changed to the color of the dye that I last used. Um, agreed thing to do is to block off the surface. It's gonna be in contact with your fabric with some duct tape so that none of the residual die that was on your block leaks into your fabric. So saying that I had, um, taped thes sandwich my fabric in between my two trying really blocks have also prepared these blocks in a special way by putting nails and each side long enough so that I can wrap twine around to avoid having to use a clamp. You can use a clamp. Um, you confined clamps in all shapes and sizes. C clamps are wonderful. One of the drawbacks to using clamps, though. If there's any metal that is not stainless steel that might rust the iron might actually slough, often jeered. I bath and change the color, which isn't bad. It's just something to be aware off. But with this technique where you have nails, um, in your actual block, if they're nonreactive nails and they won't change the color of the dye bath than they can be used as anchors for wrapping twine and with this technique, sometimes nice to have an extra pair of hands. But if you're just patient and tie and not if you tie ah, a loop first, then you can use that to anchor and then continue to wrap. Okay, so after you've wrapped your twine around all three sides, you're Taj made. Peace is ready to go into the dye bath. You can pre wet the fabric and the for however long you like. I like to let it Prewett for at least 10 minutes upwards to overnight, just to make sure that it gets on ice unsaturated before you put it into your dye bath. Okay, and our final technique that I like to show you um, she Boeri technique is really straightforward and basic. Ah, you can use twine or rubber bands, and you've probably done this if you've done any tied I as a kid, Um, rubber bands are really wonderful to use because they get a lot of give. Um, and you can also use needle and thread to buying the fabric, and this is a really freeform technique. You can, um, maken organic shape by taking the fabric and bunching it all together and then using a few rubber bands to bind it. Or you can plan out a design. And for this technique, you just lay out your garment or your item, your fabric, whatever it is that you're dying. And while it's dry, you can kind of envision where it is that you want your resist to be, which is where you will bind the fabric with your rubber band. If I'm doing a pattern like I achieved with this black bean died shirt with this triangle. Um, I plan it out by just using straight pins on placing those on the fabric where I'd like each little circle to be. And so, for instance, if I wanted to create a triangle here, there's one point of my triangle. There's a second, and here's the third right in the center of the pillowcase. And then if you only want the resist to be on one side of the pillow case, also be sure that your only grabbing the top side of the fabric. So from where my pin is placed, I pick up the fabric, pull out the pin and that's the center. And then that's where you wrap your rubber band. Same thing here and the tighter you bind and the more that you cover the fabric with the rubber band, the more of white space you're going to have. So if you wanted all of this to be weight, you could actually wrap the whole thing with rubber bands so that you have more of ah filled white circle as opposed to just a ring of white. And again, you can do this with thread or twine. Rubber bands work really well because they have so much elasticity and it goes pretty fast . And then the last see here it can feel, actually that both sides of the pillowcase I picked up accidentally, so I'm just gonna pull back the backside and make sure I want only grabbing the top right and you can make your design as elaborate or simple as you like. You go with just once, um, single circle in the middle. Or you could do pokal. That's all across the entirety of the fabric. Um, and then after this, you soak your fabric and then it goes straight into the dieback. 10. DYEING: Okay, So once you've prepared all of your fabric in the Iraqi, the attack Jai are just rubber bench bori or even abound. Stitch. Tabori, you can Prewett hm and plain old water. And then they can go directly into your extracted dye bath. Um, so you take your prepared Taj Maybach and bound pillowcase, and I go straight into your extracted I bath. You can choose to keep the onion skins of the avocado skins and pits or the black beans in . Ah, but what I like to do is sit them out with a strainer so that you have just the liquid and the extracted color so that any of the bits don't stick to your fabric and create model effects. You can do that, and that's lovely as well. But I really like to just keep to a strained dye bath. So straight into the dye bath, you can use your hands to make sure it sinks to the bottom. A lot of times when you're doing these binding techniques, a lot of oxygen gets trapped inside the folds, and so it likes to want to float to the top so you can hold it down for a little bit until all the oxygen bubbles pull out. Or you can take ah, heavy Sermet plate or a calendar or mason jars full of water and basically just weight it down to make sure that it stays. Anytime you have something that floats to the top will be areas where it's not a saturated and it creates an unevenness of color. So the attention they went in and next goes our rubber banded she Bori piece, and you also want to be take care and not overcrowd your die pot. You want the things to be ableto, um, move freely, and every time you come back to stir it, you want to be ableto incorporate just so that it's not overcrowded and the individual pieces have enough space toe stuck up the color, Um, in an even way. See me pushing all that air out of this, um, pillowcase. And if it still wants to float to the top like it's looking like it does, you can just take, like I said, um, a jar filled with water or a plate and stick it on top just to make sure that it stays on the bottom and you can leave this in the dye bath for as long as you want, um, up to know a week, even if you want. But to speed up this process again, you can use a hot plate or stove or a heat source, Um, and do a slow simmer. I wouldn't say a boil just a little bit of heat applied to help expedite that color application to the cloth process. And you just keep checking on it. And the more intense the color, um, you know, you can pull it out and rinse it. If it's not deep enough, then you can put it back in. Um, and until you get to the color that you like and then at that point, you, um, pull out your piece. We actually have one that's been sitting here for a day or so. This was any touching me peace with the triangle blocks. And I used just a seat. Um, a regular old clamp. Um, put your clamp off, pull off your shapes. You can actually see to that. The iron on my clamp has reacted with the, uh with the dye and created thes darker marks. So if you want to avoid that. You can use the binding technique with the nails in your wooden blocks, but if you don't mind it, I actually like the way it looks. Sometimes it can create some dimension and depth. Um, because, as you see it will also create its own pattern, along with the triangle pattern. There we have our onion skin. Taj may resist, naturally died up cycled T shirt. 11. FINAL THOUGHTS: thanks a lot for watching my natural dye tutorial on how to transform stained T shirts and garments and linens into beautifully colored projects. Pan, check me out on Instagram. I am the dogwood Dire. My website is the dog would dare dot com and I run workshops in Southern California and New York City, and I'd love to hear from you. Check out the documents in the project to learn more and to see more details about the beautiful samples from food color that are behind me here. If you have any questions, please feel free. Thanks a lot.