Q: What kind of fabrics can be upcycled using shibori or ecoprinting?
A: Indigo will only work on natural fibres such as silk, wool, cotton and linen.
Ecoprinting works well on protein fibres such as silk and wool without treating the fabric. Cellulose fibres such as cotton and linen may have to be premordanted to get better results.
Q: Do you only work with used garments and fabric?
A: I enjoy working with used garments and fabric because I like to extend the shelf life of things that already exist rather than making more new stuff! Also, fabric that has been used and washed is usually softer and takes up the dye or print much better: new fabrics often have finishes that have to be removed before I can dye it.
I am happy to work with new garments or fabric too, but they may have to be "scoured" (washed thoroughly, often several times) to remove any finishes before being dyed.
Q: Can you match a particular colour?
A: Natural dyeing and ecoprinting have many variables, such as the time of year the plants are harvested, where they are grown, which mordants are used, what the fabric is and how it has been treated in the past, and even the pH of the water. So it is impossible to guarantee a particular print or colour - serendipity is part of its charm!
Q: Are the colours fast?
A: All dyes, even synthetic ones, can fade over time - think of once-black T-shirts that end up grubby grey! However, if you treat your unique upcycled items with care, they will last for many years.
I recommend washing ecoprinted scarves and garments separately by hand in lukewarm water, using a pH-neutral detergent or a few drops of baby shampoo. Rinse and dry flat. Keep them out of direct sunlight when they are not being worn.
With indigo, it's normal for a little colour will always come out when you wash (like jeans). Add a splash of vinegar to the rinse water.
Q: How do I care for my upcycled items?
For ecoprinted items, we recommend washing separately by hand in lukewarm water, using a pH-neutral detergent or a few drops of baby shampoo. Rinse and dry flat. Keep them out of direct sunlight when they are not being worn.
For indigo items, wash separately by hand in lukewarm water, using a pH-neutral detergent or a few drops of baby shampoo. It's normal for a little colour to come out (like jeans). Add a little vinegar to the rinse water.
Felt items can be spot treated or gently handwashed in cool water. Do not use hot water or agitate too much, as the item may shrink. Spin to remove excess water and reshape while it is damp. NEVER tumble dry.