Eco-Dyeing silk scarves…

I’ve mentioned before that in between paintings I usually need a little mental break. Hand dyeing silk scarves are great projects for me to fill my time in between paintings. The scarves are time intensive and often one step needs 24 hours or more processing time, this gives me freedom to bounce between the two without worrying about ruining a piece.

Initially I’d begun making the scarves as a creative outlet that also worked well with my and Abraham’s (my dog) daily routine and care. I miss that little guy so much, it’s like losing one of my children. Three weeks have passed but i still feel so sad. Pets certainly have a way of working deep into your heart ?.

I am a nature lover and when I began reading about using natural plant leaves, and flowers in dyeing techniques I knew I had to give some of them a try. I didn’t expect to be as excited about using rust, or for it to become so interesting, but it is guys! I’ve used mordant on several pieces now and each time I still get excited. It amazes me to see what’s happening, and the idea that something corrosive to metal objects gives a chemical that when diluted with water and vinegar turns into something that makes a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing piece of wearable art.

The piece featured today has been eco-Dyed with mordant, and pressed black walnut leaves. As the summer season is coming to and end, I am noticing these leaves are not as potent. By that I mean the dark brown/black coloring is not a strong and impressive as when the leaves are in the full bloom of summer. I felt that Mother Nature and this scarf needed a little help. I enhanced the imprints by hand painting with silk dye in a fall color scheme of green, brow, black, yellow and a touch or coral for contrast. Here is a sneak peek, keep in mind it has not had a second steam setting so I never know for sure how much it will intensify or change the dyes and their reactions to the first layer of natural dyes.

Peace and safe wishes as we all hunker down and wait for Florence. Curious and frightened for how she will affect all of those in her path. We have one family member who decided to stay in her apartment in Charleston (Folly Beach area) as opposed to traveling with UNcooperative cats.


Eco and Hand Dyeing silk scarves by Valerie Dowdy Art