Rust Dyed Silk

I love the color of rust. Where some people see decay and crud I see beauty. When I’m hiking with friends we often come across old discarded rusty metal bits and pieces and now everyone knows to give them to me. I’ve been collecting these objects for a while now and I finally got around to doing the deed. It’s not hard and I found great directions at www.hobbyfarms.com written by Maggie Howe.

The process takes a few days for the metal objects to leave an imprint on the fabric. Here’s how to do it. I used silk organza, I love the transparence of organza and use it for jewelry and my sculptures. I wet it with a mixture of 50%water and 50% vinegar. I let the fabric be folded over onto it’s self randomly and made sure it was soaking wet.

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I laid the objects down gave it all another spritz of the water vinegar solution, covered it with plastic and weighted it down with heavy objects.

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It’s important to make sure the objects are in contact with the fabric and the plastic helps to keep it wet the whole time. I checked it daily to make sure it was still wet and because I was so anxious to see how it was doing. After 3 days I removed the objects and here’s what I got. You can see the places where the fabric was folded I got a repeat of the objects imprint.

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I made some soldered jewelry with feathers and matching earrings and cuffs. Some of these pieces are at the Alternatives Gift Shop at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts now. I have a few left that I plan to list in my shop next week.

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Now I’m wondering what else I can dye with rusty objects!

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