Creativity Jumpstart 2: Dye Fabric and Yarn with Rust!

Rust dyeing produces rich, warm colors and unexpected patterns on fabric and yarn.  It is simple, easy and requires no special equipment.  Participants in this Jumpstart dyed both cotton fabric and cotton yarn using the following procedure.

Soak fabric and yarn in vinegar (no water) until thoroughly wet.  Wrap fabric and yarn around a rusty object or objects, pressing the fabric against the rusty surface.  You will see a stronger color where the fabric and yarn touch the object, so use a large enough object that the fabric and yarn can touch the object often or use several small objects like nails.  Don’t worry about wrinkles or folds in the fabric as these add to the patterning possibilities.  In fact, you can scrunch your fabric just a bit on purpose!  Wrap all this tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let cure from 24 hours to several days.  The longer it cures, the deeper the color.

Unwrap the plastic wrap and unwrap the fabric and yarn.  Do not rinse yet!  Instead, soak the fabric and yarn in salty water to stop the rusting process.  Use 1 tablespoon salt in 1 gallon of water. Rinse the fabric and yarn thoroughly, then wash in a mild detergent and dry. 

Creativity Jumpstarts in 2020-21

Creativity Jumpstart projects were begun in the 2020-21 guild year to help members continue to learn, be inspired and be involved in the Guild during the time of social distancing due to the pandemic. Simple kits were designed to jumpstart members’ creative spirit with small, fiber-based projects. Results of the projects have been shared during Showcase and now here. Just another way to enjoy the creativity of your fellow members!

Participants in the first Jumpstart explored the interaction of colors in a woven structure by wrapping, then weaving on ceramic tiles to create two magnets.

These are made by securing a “warp” yarn to the back of a small ceramic tile, then winding it around the tile to “warp” it. A weft yarn is then secured to the back of the tile and woven across the warp to create a very small woven piece on top of the tile. The last step was to secure a magnet to the back of the tile. As you can see, participants were very creative!