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Experiments in Eco-Dyeing

I have always admired the clothes of India Flint, the eco-dyer, alchemist and wanderer from Australia. A couple of years ago I tried eco-dyeing my own clothes following tutorials on various blogs, such as Threadborne, as I couldn’t find a workshop. This year, I’ve experimented once again.

I bought various chemicals – soda ash and aluminium acetate – from Wild Colours and foraged for leaves while out on a walk in the country.

Hedgerow
Hedgerow near High Park Corner.

I chose Turkey Oak leaves as I like their pointed shape and I didn’t come across a native oak on this particular walk.

Turkey Oak Leaves
Turkey Oak Leaves

My basic method was as follows. First I scoured the t-shirts to remove any greese and dirt they may have accumulated during the manufacturing process. This involved boiling the t-shirts for two hours in water with soda ash. I followed the method here. Then I mordanted the cotton with aluminium acetate following the procedure here. Following that I was ready to dye.

I laid out each t-shirt and arranged the leaves on one side. Then I rolled each t-shirt up around pieces of copper pipe and tied up the bundles with string. Ready for the pot. In they went with water, more leaves and some pieces of iron I’d found from somewhere. The iron and copper act as mordants helping the leaf pigments bind to the fabric. I boiled/simmered the pot for an hour or so, allowed the water to cool and then unwrapped the bundles. Here are the results:

Leaf Dyed T-shirt
Leaf Dyed T-shirt
Leaf Dyed T-shirt
Leaf Dyed T-shirt

I made some labels,

Leaf Dyed T-shirt Label

and listed them for sale in my online shop here and in my Folksy Shop.

I’ve found it’s another way to relate to the natural world – and blend in!

By the way my website shop has had a revamp. It now works even better and has all the products for sale in my Etsy and Floksy shops and more.

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Dusk Night Dawn T-Shirt

At the beginning of the year I decided to design some new t-shirts. Finally I’m getting round to it.

My first new design is Dusk Night Dawn. I’m always drawing deer and this time I thought I’d add the words Dusk Night Dawn (the title of my book!), as I really like these times of day.

Dusk Night Dawn T-shirt
Dusk Night Dawn T-shirt
Dusk Night Dawn T-Shirt
Dusk Night Dawn T-Shirt

I wanted to reflect the moon in the shape of the silhouetted deer and trees. It’s now up in my Teemill online shop here.

There is another deer t-shirt in my collection, Deer Tree t-shirt:

Deer Heart Tree
Deer Heart Tree T-Shirt Design

Other t-shirts in my shop include a special Great Crested Newt T-shirt favoured by ecologists.

I’ve been told there is free shipping this weekend…just in case you’re tempted :)

If you have design requests, just drop me a note and I’ll see what I can come up with.

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Into the World of T-Shirts

I have decided to open an online t-shirt shop, Designs by Alexi, as I thought it would be good to have some of my designs on t-shirts. I discovered Teemill whose t-shirts are ethical, organic and sourced sustainably.

Designs by Alexi
Designs by Alexi online shop

I enjoyed creating the shop using one of my woodland photos and a couple of my images for the banner. My images are often inspired by the natural world, myth and folklore so the t-shirt images reflect this. There are other items such as tea-towels and tote bags for sale as well.

My Long Man of Wilmington features on one of the t-shirts:

Long Man of Wilmington T-shirt
Long Man of Wilmington T-shirt

So does one of my moon goddesses, Hina:

Moon Goddess T-Shirt
Moon Goddess T-Shirt

and the Green Man along with other images:

Green Man T-Shirt
Green Man T-Shirt

Originally I wrote about The Long Man of Wilmington a few years ago here. Since then a version of my Long Man picture has appeared on a CD cover for the band Athelstan on their album The Ride.

Athelstan CD The Ride
Athelstan CD The Ride

I’m interested in taking commissions too!

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