Sunday, June 14, 2015

Turmeric and coffee -- sounds like a cookbook title

In fact it's today's dyeing exploits.  Interrupted only by the welcome visit of friend G., who arrived spontaneously and  joined in as I was eating mejadra for lunch and pronounced it very good!  I won't see her for a week, since she's going to friends, so this was great timing.

She admired the items hanging outside to dry, and said, nobody in the world does stuff like this, Liz.  And amended it to say, well, my world, that is! she moving in the world of accountants and IT folk.

Anyway, today was about turmeric, and I thought that little rayon top that took only a very pale color the other day would be good for overdyeing.  And the heavy cotton apron Margaret K gave me ages ago to decorate, why not do that, too. I knew there was a reason I bought a giant container of turmeric.

 Also, since turmeric is fugitive, meaning it fades rapidly, this is a good chance to do some experiments in design with fugitive dyes, by leaving the items out on the deck in sunshine for a few days with objects (I'm thinking large iris leaves and maybe handfuls of pebbles) on them.  Under the objects the color will stay bright, outside of them it will fade, creating an interesting design. At least that's the plan.

And then after I saw the weather forecast, storms and heavy rain over the period I had planned on for bright sun, I regrouped and decided to use my saved up coffee grounds for another tshirt and to dip-dye the yellow rayon top, too.  This shirt is proving to be a test lab in itself.

I'll leave them in place till tomorrow, I think, and see how that works out. You'll note the brilliantly engineered method of dipping just the bottom part of the shirt in the coffee dyebath.  Two hangers from the cabinet handle above the sink. Very advanced and high tech.

The fugitive dye trials can wait till sun returns, no rush on them.

The nice thing about disposing of dyebaths when they're edible and safe is that I can scatter the coffee grounds in the ground, add a little acid to the earth that way.  And the gallon size turmeric dye is now in the fridge, awaiting future experiments.  

In fact the fridge is starting to look like a dye haven rather than a food storage unit.  But all the dyestuffs are food related and nontoxic.

Last evening more Dorset buttons happened while I was listening to an Agatha Christie audiobook, and soon the quota required for Big Doorway will be full.  And the chrysanthemum piece is progressing pretty well.  Won't be long before I can plunge into the Vilene piece.


  1. your tumeric has worked so well such a shame it fads, is there no way of setting the colour I wonder.
    Dipping just the bottom in the coffee will have a treat effect as the colour changes to so pale higher up. So more Dorset buttons the door is going to look so very good

  2. Turmeric gives a wonderful effect - too bad it fades.


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