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Fallow Slow Goods Collection

A lot has been going on behind the scenes- I recently designed and made a collection for my new line Fallow Slow Goods. Which you can also view in my portfolio.

20140306-March 4 2014 - Verena Erin - Portra 160 - 013

 

Fallow Slow Goods is a line of clothing, accessories, and home goods focused on slow values. It is a simplistic collection that incorporates beautiful materials including organic cottons, naturally-dyed fabrics, wools, and silk blends. All the pieces use environmentally conscious fabrics and are made in Vancouver, Canada.

 

20140310-March 4 2014 - Verena Erin - Portra 160 - 031

 

Read more about the line at www.fallowslowgoods.com. Select one of a kind and made to order items will also be available for purchase through the Fallow Slow Goods Etsy store.

 

20140310-March 4 2014 - Verena Erin - Portra 160 - 026

Lemon Juice Bleach Printing

Lemon juice can be used to lighten hair and brighten white laundry, so the natural bleaching properties can easily be utilized in textile dyeing. I like to use lemon juice to recreate a reverse print of objects with interesting shapes and edges.

Natural dyeing, lemon juice bleach print - Verena Erin

This one was done on a cotton canvas dyed with pomegranate and an iron mordant – and as a warning, it does not seem to work on synthetic dyes and I am not sure how it works with other natural dyes and mordants.

How to create the prints:

Juice lemon and filter out pulp and seeds, pour in a spray bottle and dilute with a little water (not necessary if you want a stronger contrast)

Place flat leaves or objects onto dyed, dry fabric, spray fabric being careful around the edges of the leaves. – I always do this outside on a sunny day as I think the sun helps the lemon juice bleach.

Natural dyeing, lemon juice bleach print - Verena Erin

Let sit until the desired depth of colour but watch carefully because the lemon juice works very quickly and if you only want a subtle outline, rinse it off right away.

Natural dyeing, lemon juice bleach print - Verena Erin

Natural dyeing, lemon juice bleach print - Verena Erin

*Spray from farther away to get a more even bleached colour, for this example I sprayed just around the leaves.

Wash fabric to remove all lemon juice.

Natural dyeing, lemon juice bleach print - Verena Erin This fabric was dyed again in the exhaust pomegranate and iron, because I let the lemon juice sit to long (oops -I was taking photos!) and wanted less of a contrast on the finished garment.

 

Have you tried or seen any other examples of lemon juice bleaching? Please comment below, I would love to seen them!

 


Onion Skin Drop Stitch Scarf

Onion skins are a readily available and lovely natural dye, easily accumulated in your own kitchen or you can ask grocery stores or restaurants. The resulting colours are a range of golden-yellows and oranges.

Onion skin natural dye

The more you have the better! I usually boil the skins for 30-40 minutes, add the fabric or fibre and keep warm for about an hour and then allow to cool in the bath before rinsing.

This scarf was knit with yarn dyed with onion skins. I used an alum mordant and got a rich golden colour.

onion skin, natural dye knit scarf - Verena Erin

The scarf is square and knit using large needles and a drop stitch pattern of:
2 knit rows, 1 knit YO2 row, 2 knit rows, 1 knit YO2 row, 2 knit rows, 1 knit YO1 row, and repeating.


Draped Wedding Dress

This summer I had the privilege of making a wedding dress for my beautiful sister in law, Gabby. Gabby has great style and was looking for something non-traditional; together we designed her two-piece, draped dress.

It was a fun process co-designing and making her dress and I really appreciate Gabby’s trust -especially considering we live in separate cities and she didn’t even see the finished dress until a couple days before the wedding!

They had an amazing wedding and it was wonderful to be a part of! <3

Photography by Ampersand Grey

Wedding Dress - Verena Erin - Photography by Ampersand Grey

The flared dress is light grey, cotton-sateen with a v-neck and back. It has a white, cotton-silk over layer with square, draped panels and a subtle grey ombre from the waist.

Wedding Dress - Verena Erin -Photography by Ampersand Grey

The perfect finishing touch was a beaded belt that Gabby found.

Wedding Dress - Verena Erin -Photography by Ampersand Grey

Wedding Dress - Verena Erin -Photography by Ampersand GreyWedding Dress - Verena Erin -Photography by Ampersand GreyWedding Dress - Verena Erin -Photography by Ampersand Grey

Congratulations Gabby and Paul!

Wedding Dress - Verena Erin -Photography by Ampersand Grey


Eucalyptus Natural Dye Experiment

Recently I found some dried eucalyptus in the grocery store and decided use it as a dye. I have always wanted to use eucalyptus but unfortunately they are not common plants here. I didn’t know what to expect because there was no information about what kind of eucalyptus it was. Eucalyptus is a favorite among dyers as the different species produce a wide range of beautiful colours.

So hoping for a lovely red but also excited to see what would happen, I prepared an organic cotton pillow case. In Eco Colour India Flint recommends using a soy milk mordant, while it’s best to make your own, I used a store bought natural soy milk with few additives. The case was soaked, dried, and then rinsed.

Eucalyptus natural dye, soy mordant - Verena Erin

To prepare the eucalyptus, it was boiled for about an hour. I like to use ‘fill your own’ tea bags for fine, smaller quantities of dye materials.

Eucalyptus natural dye - Verena Erin

While the eucalyptus was boiling I did a simple running stitch to create some stripes on the pillow case.

Eucalyptus natural dye - Verena Erin

The pillow case was then boiled in the dye bath and cooled overnight. After drying and rinsing the final result was a pale beige/yellow. It was a disappointing result given all the beautiful eucalyptus dyed textiles, but it was an experiment so I knew that I might not get a very good result. I also think I could have gotten a stronger colour if I had used more since I only used about 30g of the dried leaves for the pillow.

However there was a exciting result with the wool swatch I added. The first one I added turned a lovely caramel colour, I also did an exhaust swatch which resulted in a soft yellow. Overall much better results with the protein fibres!

Eucalyptus natural dye - Verena Erin

I hope to do a lot more with eucalyptus and experiment with printing and different varieties. I also had more success with a eucalyptus eco print which you can see here.

Emerging Designer Competition

On September 20th I participated in Western Canada Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Competition. I designed a 3 piece, casual outfit and won 3rd place! The 13 other competitors had a large variety of designs and it was a great experience taking part in the competition. 

Photo: Ferd Isaac
Photo: Ferd Isaac

My iceberg inspired design consisted of printed leggings, a silk tank, and knitted sweater.

Photo: GREX Photographic Visuals
Photo: GREX Photographic Visuals

I wanted to create a wearable outfit and was inspired by the shapes and lines of ice and the arctic.

The organic cotton leggings are digitally printed with a glacier photograph. The a-line tank has a low back and raw finished neckline and armholes, it is made from a silk with a lot of volume so it has movement and floats. The open sweater is machine knit with draped pockets and angular, drop-stitch details on the back.

WCFW DesignThis outfit incorporates environmentally conscious features including:

  • certified organic cotton
  • digital printing which doesn’t use water and reduces dye waste and water pollution
  • ‘rescued’ fabric – excess fabric purchased from companies who want to avoid it going to the landfill
  • wool made from recycled fibres that would have otherwise been discarded in the production process
Photo: Kelly Rosborough
Photo: Kelly Rosborough

Thank you to the team who helped bring everything together and to the judges for the recognition! It was great to be part of the event and see the design talent from Edmonton and across Canada!

 

 

Red Cabbage -Natural Dye

Using red cabbage as a dye is fun! Not only is it a beautiful colour but it has magical ph colour-changing properties. The dye is considered fugitive and unfortunately will fade, but I have still had lovely results.

Red cabbage neutrally is a blue-purple and with acid turns a pink, bases turn it green.  You can even use red cabbage to make your own ph indicator strips!

Red Cabbage

To dye my wool yarn I chopped up a red cabbage, boiled and strained it to get the liquid. I then soaked half the skein (wanting some variegation in the yarn) in the dye bath with a little alum added – only useing a small amount because the alum affects the ph and therefore the colour changes.

Removing the wool, it was a beautiful blueish-purple. For fun (and to see if it would last), I sprayed some lemon juice on a few sections, turning the yarn pink!

Red cabbage acid

When rinsing out the yarn it sadly but expectedly changed the pink back. I then decided to soak the other half in the exhausted dye.

The final product is a pale blue after about a month and a half, which I’m happy with because I love the colour and actually expected it to fade a lot more.

red cabbage yarn

red cabbage yarn2

I knit a hat with the yarn, and 4 months later the colour hasn’t faded anymore.

Red cabbage dyed, hand knit hat - Verena Erin

Have you tried dyeing with red cabbage? I would love to hear your comments or tips!  :)

 

Iris -Eco Print

Having seen lovely blue and green dyes from irises, I harvested some of these yellow and deep purple ones for printing.

Iris

I bundled the irises and some pink rose petals into a cotton and silk blend, bias slip dress, and gently steamed it for around an hour. Unwrapping the bundle later, I was excited to find bright blues and almost neon yellow-greens.

hanging to dry
printed dress hanging to dry

The pink petals also gave off a little colour which works nicely with the blue. Hopefully I will have a photo of the full, finished dress soon!


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