Welcome to my adventures in crafting, gardening and healthy country living. I write about a little bit of everything. I sew, quilt, scrapbook, crochet, make soap, garden, am a small business owner and care for animals with my folks. You never know what is around the next corner. For me the process of creativity is rarely neat and tidy. ;) If you would like to contact me please feel free to email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love experimenting with natural dyes. I have had a lot of fun with indigo, but recently I experimented with turmeric (yes the spice in your cabinet.) It was an incredible experience and very educational.
I was getting ready for a photo shoot with a set a 2 week old twin girls and I wanted some naturally dyed wraps. I actually prefer a 50 grade cheesecloth, but I only had local access to the 10 grade (from Hobby Lobby.) I got quite a bit of cheesecloth while it was on sale. Yea!
Of course, before I could do anything with it I had to wash and prep the cloth. I started by boiling the cloth with vinegar and washing soda. I let the fabric soak for an hour,rinsed it and added it to a pot of turmeric boiled with water and a little vinegar. I simmered it for several hours before rinsing and washing the fabric. That was when things got interesting.
I started washing it with my homemade soap after the rinse water started to run mostly clear. I draped the cheesecloth over my hand and when it touched the soap to it. The fabric went from a bright yellow to a brick red in the shape of my hand. I rinsed the soap out and the cheesecloth had turned a orangy gold.
Progression after Dyeing
I was a bit worried by this point because this was not the color I was looking for this time. I remembered the vinegar that I had used when simmering it. So I poured a bit of apple cider vinegar in the container with the rinse water. The fabric where I poured the vinegar immediately turned back to the beautiful gold.
Also turmeric dyed wraps
The first piece that I dyed I left out on my porch on the line. After 24 hours, this piece had faded to a pale yellow. The second piece I hung up inside, and it stayed a beautiful bright yellow. I love it when you get what you are looking for in an idea.
I am considering adding these wraps to my shop. Tell me what you think.
So things are changing somewhat in my soap line-up. I was trying to get ready for a craft show, and I was looking at the sheer number of soaps that I had to pack up to be ready to go. I have about thirty different soaps! It was stunned. I couldn't believe that I had that many varieties. I finally came to the realization that I need to cut down on the number of soaps that I keep in stock. I had such large quantities of my ingredients tied up in all my fun soaps. I have had a hard time keeping my most requested soaps in good supply. There have been several times that I have gotten down to one or two of my most requested soaps. This is a problem for me so I am discounting all the soaps that are not going to be remaining in my stock line. I am going to take it down to about 12 - 15 soaps and then 2-3 soaps for the seasons. I have four soaps that I will be adding. I will be adding a simple goat milk soap, a Gardener's Friend soap and an Acne Relief soap. The goat milk soap is simple, only three oils and no scents and only a little mica on top. The Gardener's Friend soap will have fine coffee grounds for scrubbing and scent removal. I live in the volunteer state (Tennessee) and I have found that the volunteer soaps sell well. I have scented these bars with a combination of citrus oils. The Acne Relief contains activated charcoal, zinc oxide and indigo. Activated charcoal is good for pulling impurities from your skin. Indigo is also reputed to excellent for helping to improve your skin and help with acne. Zinc Oxide helps to heal irritated skin. This soap will also have tea tree, lavender and rosemary essential oils. I have also ventured, after a ton of research, into making salves. I will be posting on this soon. I have also added milk baths and masques for my local customers and I may do a post on that also. I am also working on adding a baby product line as well.
Now that we have settled into a routine with homeschooling I am going to try to get back to posting at least once a month. Now that things have settled out with school my time is a bit more available. I will be posting these soaps soon so keep in touch for updates on my site.