Wow - So many different things to try! I am very curious about the blueberries!
Dyeing of silk with onion peel extract – Ms. Seema
This article is very helpful in the sense that it discussing in detail the results of using onion peels as a dye with natural fabrics and gives good examples in variation regarding mordents, materials, and also comparing chemical dyes.
From this study it seems that using the onion peel you can get a small variety of colors from brown, red, and yellow-ish brown depending on the mordant used.
The mordan in this study includes Supari, Harad, Eucalyptus, Alum, Cuso-4, FeSO4.
It also showed that using the natural mordents that it was less likely to run when washed or rubbed.
Extracting and testing a natural plant dye
Below are Notes from the text I want to keep handy:
Pigment keeps its structure; a dye loses its structure (by dissolving in a solvent)
(Dissolve in organic solvents that are not too polar – Fat-soluble – Do not dissolve in water)
-Carotenes – Orange or red-orange
carrots, red peppers, oranges, tomatoes
- covalent bonds – conjugated system
-Xanthophylls – Yellow
nettles, French marigolds, annatto, saffron
-have an oxygen atom attached to structure
Flavones – Do not fade in strong like
These colors are sensitive to pH.. Yellow becomes more deeper with high pH.
Flavonols – Fade in strong light
These colors are sensitive to pH.. Yellow becomes more deeper with high pH.
Onions, horse chestnuts, tea, fustic, nettles, Osage-orange,daisy family, peas, weld, primrose.
Onion skin – mixture of flavones and flavonols : querctin, kaempferol, querctin-3-glucoside.
(responsible for starlets, reds, violets, blue in flowers, fruits and vegetables. Chromophore) Found in pigmented leaves, flowers and plants & fruits : blackcurrants, aubergines, orages, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, redcurrants.
-Water-soluble and easily extracted into a weakly acidic solution.
-color is dependent on pH
Anthraquinones - madder
-St.John’s wort, walnut,
Betanin- from Beetroot – does not change color with ph
Tannis – bark of oak and willow
Chlorophyll – green plants – stinning nettles and spinach ( uses steps with petroleum ether and propanone)
Extration and Dyeing Methings
“Orange onion skins, mordanted with alum and cooked in 1-2 cm water for
3 minutes on a medium heat, will release orange coloured water. Strain the water, add the
wool and cook for a further 3 minutes on medium. Remove the wool, rinse with cold water
and the threads should have turned bright yellow.”
Madder – Part of the plan used for the dye is tuber type roots. Roots must be dryed & ground into a powder. Will make Red. With alum as mordant will be deep red pm wool. If copper dye vat is used color will be brighter.
Weld- Whole plant harvest and dried. Boiled in water.
The pigments can be prepared in a saucepan over a stove or electric hot plate. Water can be
heated in an electric kettle and poured onto fruit and vegetable skins to leach out plant
pigments, as well.
ƒ Simmer 1 pint of fresh or frozen blueberries in ½ cup of water in a small saucepan over
medium heat until a deep blue colour is leached from the skins. Strain out blueberry
skins with a fine kitchen strainer. (A tea strainer works well).
ƒ Simmer yellow onion peels (the yellow papery skins, not the onion flesh) in ½ cup of
water over medium heat until the water turns a golden yellow colour. Pour liquid through
a strainer to remove onion peel.
The pigment solutions can be stored at room temperature in air-tight glass containers.
Divide the blueberry solution into three bowls. Add vinegar to one bowl in small amounts
until the blueberry solution turns pink and add baking soda to a second bowl in small
amounts until the blueberry solution turns dark purple. Students will then have three
separate anthocyanin shades to dye materials over a range of colour. After adding vinegar
and baking soda to blueberry pigment, the dye will be weak.
Preparing the fabric for dyeing: You will have to soak the fabric in a colour fixative
before dyeing. This will make the colour set in the fabric.
ƒ Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water
ƒ Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar
ƒ Metal mordants: You can make mordants from iron, chrome or tin by boiling some of
these metals with water. To make iron mordant, for example, boil 5 litres of water with 2
cups of vinegar and 1 cup of rusty nails for one hour. Leave it to stand for 24 hours and
then pour off the solution. This solution is the mordant.
For onions: Add red or yellow onion skin preparations. (For each type of onion skin, place
a large handful of onion skins in knee-high nylon stocking. Make a knot in the stocking at
Red onion anthocyanin
Yellow onion quercitin
Effect of natural mordants on cotton dyed with onion peel extract 1 Seema, 2 Dr. Ritu Mathur.
I found this article to be interesting and informative regarding the use of onionskins as a natural dye and their reactions with specific mordents. Some language regarding the process threw me off a little bit because I was unfamiliar with the vocabulary. I have defined the terms below. I am also assuming that regular yellow onions were used for this study and I am curious of the colors that would be produced when using red, purple, and white onions.
Light Fastness- is the resistance of colours to fading, changing shade or darkening under the influence of light
Crock Fastness - The resistance of transfer of colorant from the surface of a colored yarn or fabric to another surface, or to an adjacent area of the same fabric, principally by rubbing.
Perspiration Fastness - Color fading and alteration can be caused by the reaction between dyes on garments and the constituents of human perspiration, such as skin waste. It varies for different individuals and conditions.
Wash Fastness - that characterizes a material's color's resistance to fading or running when washed.
Supari- Areca Nut The areca nut is the fruit of the areca palm, which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Southeast and South Asia, and parts of east Africa.
Harad Haritaki fruit is one among The three, that constitute Triphala. It is a very famous rejuvenating herb. Its botanical name is Terminalia chebula and it belongs to Combretaceae family. Hindi name – Harad, Harade. English name – Chebulic Myrobalan.
The areca nut is the fruit of the areca palm, which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Southeast and South Asia, and parts of east Africa.
Commons. This is a term that I had not heard before but I realize that I act within accordance to them regularly in various different situations. I have been in living situations where there are common rules and understandings that people follow. When I was in Australia I lived at an organic farm and retreat center called Paradise One where in exchange for housing and food everyone was responsible for working in the garden, cooking, and cleaning. We meet in circles to discuss house rules and determine new common agreements for what worked and what needed improvement among us.
Another example of this is at one of the Acupuncture places that I work at. As an employee we have circles as well where we all sit together and talk about our responsibilities to make it a better experience for the business, us as employees, and our patients.
On a personal level I believe the structure of relationships, particularly romantic are “commons”. I prefer to use the word “agreements”, however it is the same in the sense that two individuals are coming together to maintain something bigger than themselves that is a relationship. Within the relationship each person communicates their needs, weaknesses, etc and particular perimeters are set of behaviors, expectations, goals, etc. that are followed to maintain a healthy relationship. And like the common suggests, these “game rules” can change and shift as things change and time goes on.
I feel living in commons is very natural. As humans we are not separate but are deeply connected to everyone and everything. I feel that governments are actually too large at the moment to understand the needs of everyone they govern and this is why these sub commons are created to be fitted to smaller community needs.
Commons Lab Antwerp (Belgium)
“Modern individuals do not see the Earth as a source of spiritual renewal, but as a stockpile of raw materials to be exploited and consumed.” -Gablik
As humans we are emotional beings. For people to take action about something, they must care and feel it emotionally. This is how art can make a social and environmental difference in the world. By exposing issues, facts, and concerns about our current human condition of consumerism without regards for its damage to the environment through art that is emotive, visceral, and communicative, a greater change can be made by individuals because they are able to connect with this issue through their hearts and souls.
In the article The Ecological Imperative, Gablik gives examples of different artists who use their work to highlight these environmental issues. The photographer David Hanson reveals aerial images of missile and hazardous-waste sites nestled within agricultural landscapes and the wilderness, exposing this unseen truth and fosters people to ask questions about these images and sites.
The artist Othello Anderson paints landscapes havoc by acid rain as a away to bring attention to this environmental issue of devastation. He writes, “Recognizing this crisis, as an artist I can no longer consider making art that is void [of] moral consciousness, art that carries no responsibility, art without spiritual content…”
And Lynne Hull, and artist who creates earth works that provide aid to birds for nesting and collecting water in dry habitats.
I find these artists inspiring as they dedicate their life and their artwork to something beyond themselves and into the realm of exposure and service for the environment. For more people to take action for sustainability people need to feel the reason why and art can help this process move forward.
On another note, I agree that we are at a crucial time in the world to keep the green earth fit for human life. However, I do believe that the Earth is not in danger of losing life (unless we blow her up with nuclear weapons). I believe the Earth will survive, but the human race may not.
Gablik, S. (1992) The Ecological Imperative. Art Journal, 51 (2), p. 49-51