Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rust Dyeing

Before I show you my Rust dyeing I must share this postcard I had from Phyllis Duffy from Grand Rapids USA this morning. The topic for this swap was 'In the eye of the beholder' and we had to choose any fabric where we could see a shape or an image in the design. This fabric reminded Phyllis of railtracks and when she was a child they thought they were very reckless when they put pennies on the rail for the train to flatten them. Well done Phyllis. I hope mine will be as good.


I have been so excited by my rust dyeing I couldn't wait to share them with you. I had been saving rusty things for a while, but hadn't used them. Then we were set a challenge on the FAF group to dye fabric using rusty articles.


These are the rusty bits I had. The horseshoe has been with us for a very long time and it is just huge. The horse that wore this must have been a large Shire horse. We found it in an old shed in the first house we bought. My grandfather was a ploughman until he died from wounds soon after the 1914-18 war. He had a large chest full of his brasses and cleaning stuff and my grandmother had never thrown these away, but my mother was not in the least sentimental and they were thrown out.

The rusty piece at the top is really heavy and I picked that up from the beach opposite our flat. When they were diggin the cycle path a large piece broke off from the digger they were using and it had to be replaced. This is very heavy. Then there's a large earing with danglies that I picked off the pavement in Llandudno. This was already rusty.
There's a Stanley knife blade I found rusting on a windowsill at Plas Tan y Bwlch and the rest were just around.


I knew you used vinegar and salt to help the rusting process and a warm place to put them. I just used the ordinary vinegar you put on fish and chips and plenty of salt in the warm water. I wrapped the objects roughly in white fabrics. Pure cottons, polycotton and muslin(English). I don't think there was any difference in the way the cotton and polycottons took the rust. I put them all in an old rusty meat tin and put the lot in a plastic bag to steam in the sun. I couldn't resist having a peek now and then and I moved the fabric around a bit so different parts would touch the rust.


People who know me know how fond I am of orange and I couldn't resist some photos of the rust on the edge of the meat tin and plastic bag. I love these photos showing the colours and the water vapour on the bag.


I rinsed them out and hung them up to dry.


Then they were ironed and photographed.


Here is my favourite. this is wonderful and is the one I wrapped the earing in.



Can you see the woman's head here?



These last two were rolled roughly around the horseshoe. Next time I am going to lay the horseshoe on the fabric and just cover it with the rest. I'm sure I could get a lovley horseshoe design.

25 comments:

Sue B said...

Mags these are really cool! You got great results! You know it would be intersting to start with a piece of cloth that's not white - I wonder what would happen if you started with a piece of black or even yellow?

Pat said...

This is so exciting, I am due to go on holiday next week but it will be top of my "to try" list when I come back. Thank you so much for sharing.

SuZ said...

hey Mags...these look terrific!!!-love 'em!!!!

Fran├žoise said...

They look great.
I started playing today...

Shirley Goodwin said...

Rust is fun, isn't it? I haven't made anything with my pieces yet.

Purple Missus said...

Wow, you got some really good results there Mags. Great way to kick off the challenge.

StegArt said...

Oooooo, I love the results you got. Now I gotta go look harder for rusty stuff.

Ali Honey said...

Great results Mags. I especially like the photo in the plastic bag. I think using some pale Autumn tone fabric might be interesting.

Do make sure you don't get any of the rust solution on yourself.....we wouldn't want to hear any creaking joints!

Micki said...

Looks like you got some great results.

Emmy said...

great results you got here

Carol said...

Oh! Mags these are wonderful. I did some rust dyeing last summer and haven't done anything with the fabrics yet, perhaps it's time to!

Liz said...

These are lovely, Mags. I really must do something with the pile of rust dyed stuff I have now... you got good results on the cotton - I have found that silk gives the best results. Never tried polycotton....

Paige said...

Very cool. One question, are we sure the rust won't hurt the fabric? There is a rusty I-beam in the parking garage at work I keep wanting to take a photo of, but just haven't taken the 30 seconds to do it. Maybe when I get to work Monday morning. You have inspired me.

Helen in the UK said...

Great experiment results. I have to wait to DH to let me know which of the rusty stuff in the shed I can play with, then I'll be having a go too :)

Carol said...

Wow, must find rusty stuff! Fab patterns off the earring.

Dianne said...

Your pieces turn out great. I love to rust fabris I think its my favorite thing to do, how the paterns come out are like magic.. I only use vinegar on my pieces nothing else... I just did a piece myself but the chains didn't leave the proper pattern so I have to do another but will wrap it tight with wire so the chains reallyu imprint..

Alis said...

These look great.
We got rid of old and rusty stuff when we moved but it has started to rain so I have a line of things in the garden now ;0)
Hope I do as well as you.
Hugs, Alis

Toni said...

Mags
These are inspiring. Must have a go and I already have my stash of rusty bits. Like the idea of using coloured fabric too.
Toni

Dianne said...

These are great Mags!

Joanna van said...

Mags you know where you see a woman...I see a set of false teeth from an old lady haha. Great results...I wonder what your husband said when he saw all these things drying in your kitchen? I can just imagine what my husband would have thought.

Joanna van said...

Had to also comment on the last piece...I see a big monkey face.

downunderdale said...

love your rust stuff,Mags - about to try some myself after a long promise - Dale

Michelle said...

What an interesting process that yields great results! Thanks for sharing the steps!

Judy Rys said...

Love the results, and love collecting stuff, but I don't think I'm ready for a rusty object collection! LOL Is the rust stains permanent?

Jo Wholohan said...

uWhat a great idea!!!!