We each purchased a silk habotai scarf approx 40cm wide by 1.8m long from the tutor & went thru the steps as directed.
My process went like this:
- wetting the silk,
- laying down some dried eucalyptus leaves
- covering with gladwrap to isolate the cloth from most of the dye in the bath (this is apparently for 'clarity')
- wrapping the cloth tightly around a central core (mine was a plastic covered piece of tightly rolled newspaper)
- wrapping the bundle tightly with string & securing it
- boiling it in a dye bath of eucalyptus bark in a large aluminium jam pan for 1&1/2 hours
- removing it from pot
- letting it cool
- unwrapping & being completely surprised to discover that while everyone else had unbundled excitement & joy in the form of colour & imprints all over their fabric, mine had only worked at one end for a distance of approx 40cm where I had laid down some silver dollar leaves. The remainder of my fabric was virtually colourless & had only the faintest imprint of some of the leaves.
My 1st reaction was WTF followed closely by I wonder WHY ?
Here's what I think happened.
I rolled too tightly, wrapped too tightly & my bundle remained perched on the top of everyone else's as it was too long to fit in the pot & couldn't be submerged.
I think this has to be true, because otherwise the dye bath would have at least dyed the fabric even if no pigment came from the leaves bundled within.
All of which, rather than devastating me, actually puzzles me.
Am I the only one in the world that this has happened too ?
Anyway at least it has given me the opportunity to experiment.
I considered just having a go at reproducing the workshop but that would mean I actually need to go find some eucalyptus bark & leaves which, of course, is not actually what I want to do because the whole point of my botanical dyeing experiments is to use what I have available TO ME RIGHT HERE AT MY FEET, so to speak.
So I've cut the successful end off the silk & will gather some leaves & berries from around home, make a dye bath from raurēkau bark, rewrap my silk & see how it goes.
It is possible that I will fail a 2nd time . . . .