I have been doing some fermentation dyeing, using the technique of Anne Rieger. I love her technique and the results are worth the time waiting for the fermentation to happen.
In the image above, the left side shows the results of mango leaves and right of yellow onion skins. The top was only in an acid bath and going more to the bottom each time a bit longer in the alkaline bath. I get a completely different result with the mango leaves than when I use immersion dyeing. Maybe, I haven't let them ferment long enough. I need to do some more experiments with them. Although, I love the browns that I got.
Why I love this technique so much:
- I find it the most environmentally friendly and purest way of natural dyeing that I have come accross sofar.
- There are absolutely no mordants used
- No need for an external energy source other than the warmth of the sun to warm up the baths. - There is also very little water needed
- the colour holds well and nearly no dye runs when rinsing.
- The dye plants can dye for a long time as the fermentation keeps going
- I like to help in keeping a very old tradition alive
Why I don't always use this:
- sometimes materials need to be dyed fast and I can't wait for months to have them. That is when I go back to immersion dyeing
- I sometimes still use dye stuffs coming from other places, in extracts or powders. I find that the fermentation works best with whole plants and the most sustainable is to use local plants, fresh from the garden.
- It is very time consuming as the dye baths need to be checked every day for pH for best results.
- I also like the results obtained with eco prints, even there are some metal mordants used, but only metal oxides and this provides different possibilities.
So, I keep going with several methods, depending on my needs.
I will show more results from my dyeing experiments soon.