Archive of Chain T's
Naturally dyed + hand block printed Cotton shirts with Chain motif Dimensions variable 2017 Block printed t-shirts with chain motif. Handmade blocks. The t-shirts have been printed using iron and aluminum mordants. Mordants are mineral salts that bind dyes into fiber, assure light- and wash-fastness, prevent color bleeding, brightens or changes some dye colors. Once finished printing, the mordants are then fixed in a wheat bran bath with the addition of Calcium Carbonate (chalk) to assure adherence to the cellulose fibers of the shirt. The shirt is then thrown into a natural dye bath. Due to the pH sensitive nature of natural dyes, the dyes react differently when they touch the iron (acidic) and aluminum (alkaline). Since the base of the shirt is untreated, the resulting effect is 3 different colors from one dye bath: the base of the shirt, the mordanted iron print, and the mordanted alum print. This process has allowed me to study and coax out a plant dye’s color spectrum. Some of the natural dyes have been personally locally foraged and extracted, and some have been obtained from ethical sources. Natural dyes used with these shirts: Avocado skins and pits, Tobacco, Eucalyptus, Cutch (tree sap), Madder, Walnuts, Chestnuts, Pomegranate rinds, Indigo.