Cherry blossoms everywhere: a work in progress.

It must be the weather.  But I cannot get cherry blossoms out of my head.  I have been mulling over the idea of using batik this way since last summer.  I had tried a few samples just hand painting them on swatches of silk, but wasn’t happy with the results.  I really wanted the flowers to pop.  So,  I filed it away for a while.

This weekend, with a need to use up some dyestock before it got too old, I started.

Starting with 16mm silk charmeuse scarf, it was stretched on the handy dandy frame.  Using soy wax and a cheap sumi brush I started dotting away.


On the right you can see the wax on white silk.  There is a light layer of pink that I put down.  Light is not great here, but you get the idea.

The left is the next layer of a deeper pink.  I stopped just to shoot a few “in progress” pics.


And finally…the rest of the deeper rose pink.


After a good night’s rest, “Part Two: Branches”.  But that’ll have to be tomorrow.

It’s a washout.

So I spent the better part of yesterday early a.m. putting 5 velvet, 5 charmeuse, and a couple of crepe de chine scarves in their various dyebaths.

I played loose and fast with the rules. (time, temp and so on, wasn’t paying close attention.)

And I lost.

The silks were all in acid dye baths, small containers, and nuked for at high for 4 minutes, one minute intervals, then left in their closed containers, steaming happily for the next hour until I was ready to rinse. I used some older dyestocks that couldn’t really be used for alkaline processing, as I had read you can still use them, even if they’ve been sitting on the shelf a while. I had just used these the day before with not problem.

The velvets were also lwi, but alkaline processing, sitting in their containers. Fresh dyestocks.

I don’t know if it was the temperatures, wrong PH, or a combination, but the Blue in everything seems to be washing out. I’m guessing temps and not enough time. I got impatient and started rinsing after 3 hours.

Actually no “seems” about it. 3 Silks were a beautiful mottled deep teal (less pronounced patterning intentional) I wanted to then pole wrap and discharge. They are now the palest sage green.

The gorgeous plum scarves are on the violet side of fuschia. Kind of “barbie” fuschia.

The browns are less gorgeous and the mottles have a more pronounced fuschia and yellow lines. Not the deep earthy variations they were.


I have been hot washing (after they all had preliminary rinses in cold water) all yesterday and today, and I still have “muddy water”.

Hopefully I can overdye the velvets. The silks are practically white so i know I can do those again.

I guess the “fun with shibori” will have to wait till tomorrow.