Finished Project: Compost Dye

Back in fall 2017 I dipped some slightly pressed leaves into iron, rolled them up in cotton, and gave them to a co-worker to leave in a compost pile for a few weeks.

Read more about that process in the last blog post.

WELL, I finally stopped dragging my feet and made something with that fabric. A button down--the business woman's best friend.

Check out me, not a model, posing in front of a compost pile and some sexy tropical plants.
Shout out to Aleks for composting this fabric for me and Anne for snapping some great photos.

The scarf I am wearing is dyed with dried yarrow plants and an iron blanket.

Not the same pile of compost that was used to age the fabric; but you get the idea of the size and how odd this  medium is for creating art!

Here are a number of detail shots of my blouse. Because the fabric is a loose weave and was aged in a pile of compost that usually hangs around 140 degrees teeming with friendly microbes and bacteria--the fabric got a little chewed up. Most of the holes were not noticeable until I held the finished shirt up to the light; I'm sure you can imagine how surprised I was! So I experimented with boro-mending and added to the patterned intricacies that already existed.

The green fabric is dyed with marigolds followed up with a quick iron dip. I love the army-green color and plan to make a simple button-down and shorts combo--maybe a jumper. In this photo the underside of the collar, nap, and back compliment one another so well. The collar is very stiff so I expect to pop it fairly often to show off the pattern.


A couple of notes about the patterns:
Soft copper/red imprints are redbud leaves
Angular spotted brown imprints are maple leaves
Brown streaks are drips of iron or folds that microbs took up residence
Greenish with brown outline imprints are oak leaves