The last few weeks I have been continuing my experiments with natural dyes for my leather goods. . A few posts ago I wrote about my initial tests using the sun, walnut husks, and vinegar. I had great results with those elements creating a perfect variation in color tone. This week I have three new elements in the making – the first of which begins with “2 Buck Chuck” from Trader Joe’s.
It’s a cheap $2 wine from a local marketplace and is the perfect base for me to start my fourth experiment.
First I poured a little wine out of the bottle to make room for the next step, and allow myself a bit of late night respite.
Next I took a steel wool ball and stretched it out. Using steel wool that is not coated in oil (most are) is essential. The steel wool should react with the wine in a way which I am not completely sure of the exact result.
Stuff that steel wool in there.
Completely submerge it.
I corked the bottle and let it sit for a week or so. This seemed to work well for the steel wool and vinegar solution, making it quite stronger after a full week.
The next experiment involves blackberries. One package of them, heated up on the stove with a little bit of water, then mushed with a fork to release the juices.
One the blackberries are all mush, I then poured it through a strainer into a recycled jar.
To keep mold and other nastiness from forming, I decided to add a bit of rubbing alcohol to the jar.
I am letting this one sit for a bit too – though it should be ready instantly – for soft blues.
Henna is a traditional dye used in India for weddings, among many other things. People use it in the U.S. as a natural option for hair dyes.
I decided to try out two mixes made entirely from plants – natural and chestnut.
Pouring each powder bag into its respective container.
Then filling up each container to the top with tap water. This has me a bit skeptical about mold growth, but I need to see if the dye has any results first before fixing that problem.
The henna dyes will also sit for a week or so, in order to make sure they are as potent as possible. I was most excited about this specific experimental dye, until I realized that the henna powder doesn’t dissolve, it stays a clumpy mess inside the containers.
In a week I will have the results and color swatches. I am betting on the 2$ Chuck as a winner.