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Topic: Rust Dye Scarves with Picture Tutorial  (Read 2983 times)
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Abbeeroad
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« on: December 09, 2016 08:21:39 AM »

Mr. Road loves to play with metal. As a result, we have quite a stash of metal filings hanging around in our garage. A little while ago, Mr. Road gathered all the metal dust together in a cup so that I could play around with rust dyeing. A personal swap with sheepBlue finally gave me the push I needed to actually use it. Here are the results, and a little walk-through on what I did in case you have a bunch of metal filings of your own at home.

Here's a glimpse at the finished product:



I stared with the following supplies:



-Scarf blanks (from Dharma Trading Co), silk and cotton
-50/50 water and vinegar mixture in a squirt bottle
-Metal shavings/dust in a cup with a measuring spoon
-Metal wire (for shiboir style dyeing)
-Something round to wrap the scarf around (for shibori style dyeing)

I laid out the silk scarf and thoroughly wet it with the 50/50 vinegar and water mixture (kiddo helped with this part):



Then, I sprinkled the metal dust/filings onto the wet scarf. Because this was my first go, I was pretty liberal with the application here. Also, my kid has a heavy hand. Smiley



The whole thing was rolled up around an extra piece of metal piping we had lying around:





Wrapped up with metal wire:





and scrunched together:



I applied a bit more of the vinegar/water mixture to the wrapped up scarf at this point and let it sit for about 12 hours. Here's what it started to look like later that evening:



I was a little worried about leaving it for too long because I've read stories about the metal eating through silk and creating holes in the piece. Unwrapping was a little nerve wracking, but I quickly realized that all was well.

Once unwrapped, the whole scarf was rinsed in cold water and then submerged in a salt bath. I used about a tablespoon of salt in a sink full of water. The salt is supposed to neutralize the rusting reaction that is transferring onto the fabric. However, I have read that this reaction will continue and eventually destroy the fabric. I guess we'll see!

I let the scarf hang to dry, ironed it for a heat set (not sure if this is necessary with rust dye, but old habits die hard), and washed it in the gentle cycle with a textile detergent.

Here is another look at the finished piece. I call this one the saturated scarf. It went to my mom for her birthday.



With the second silk scarf, I tried to be a bit more sparse in my application of metal. I sprinkled "strips" of the dust on to the scarf before wrapping and scrunching just like with the first.



Hanging to dry:



Finished piece:





For the cotton scarf, I decided to try something different. I was inspired by a pin that sheepBlue had on her pinterest. I wet the scarf in the vinegar/water mixture as with the other two scarves, then folded it up and sandwiched canning jar lid inserts in between the layers. A couple clamps kept the lids in place and helped "seal" the fabric against the dye.



Because this wasn't wrapped up and scrunched like the shibori scarves, there was less contact with the fabric and the metal. I let this one set for a few days before rinsing in the salt bath.

After the rust did its thing, I put the whole thing in a tea dye bath (40 tea bags steeped in boiling hot water for 15 minutes prior to dyeing):



An hour later, I rinsed, dried, ironed, and washed the whole scarf. Here's the result:



Close up of one section and the circle resists:



I really love how this one came out, and Mr. Road said it was his favorite thing I've ever dyed. Cheesy

I have lots of metal filings left. Can't wait to play more with this technique. Thanks for looking!
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016 08:29:08 AM »

These are all really beautiful! I'm really impressed at how vivid the wire-wrapped scarf is!

I have a small container of rusty bolts that I have been saving for more dyeing experiments and need to give it another shot. I'm really inspired by your scarves!
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016 09:02:33 AM »

Fantastic - your pieces are lovely.  I too have a box of saved rusty bits - eventually becoming dust - for experimentation in the future.  I have used a bit for eco-dying with leaves - working with leaves turns the rust to iron black versus warm red/brown. 
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016 09:25:39 AM »

 Wow! These turned out really cool. I would have never thought of doing something like this. Very pretty results.
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016 09:59:38 PM »

 I must dig out the dyes... I love that wrap shibori technique so much.


Those round resists are so cool. And it looks like something a fashionable Dalek would wear.
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Abbeeroad
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016 09:12:25 AM »

Thanks guys! This was a fun project.

Fashionable Dalek - HA! Love the imagery. Grin
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2016 05:21:56 PM »

I was so hoping you'd have progress pictures of your adventure with rust dyeing and you did not disappoint! It's so cool to see how these were made. Maybe next swap, you can send me some iron shavings to play with  Cheesy Being as I apparently live in the land of no rust.

I love them both so much but I gotta say the fashionable dalek scarf is totes my fave.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016 05:22:54 PM by sheepBlue » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Abbeeroad
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2016 07:08:13 AM »

Maybe next swap, you can send me some iron shavings to play with  Cheesy Being as I apparently live in the land of no rust.

Why didn't I think of that?? I'll happily share our wealth of rust with you, haha. I'll sneak a little into your holiday card (if I ever get them out). Wink
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2016 10:55:52 AM »

Fantastic - your pieces are lovely.  I too have a box of saved rusty bits - eventually becoming dust - for experimentation in the future.  I have used a bit for eco-dying with leaves - working with leaves turns the rust to iron black versus warm red/brown. 
This eco dying with leaves intreiges me-have you posted any of that here? I love the idea of using leaves, and also mixing leaves and rust.
I love love love the scarves! The first one is my favorite, but they're all spiffy.
I have oodles of rusty metal, but no shavings or dust...I wonder if the metal could be soaked in water to make a kind of rust dye?
Thank you for sharing this!
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2016 12:08:19 PM »

oh my gosh I am in love!!!  Thank you so much for the progress pictures, this is something that has been on my list to do as I have pounds of rusty crap  and now I realize I should be saving all the rust dust too!  off to sweep up the room of rusty things....
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