Updated: Feb 26
It all looks so simple, you take a few leaves, roll them up, boil them down, and presto; there is your eco-printed scarf. In reality, this work comes with a lot (a lot!) of extra gear that takes ups lot of space. And it is ever growing!
I encourage each and everyone to lead a minimalistic lifestyle, but I am about to share a few tips and tricks that will send most of my fellow eco-printers on a shopping spree.
Amazing Gadgets for Sewing and Fabric Storage
1 The Bobbin Holder.
If you ever made a nice finish on your scarf, you know the pain of finding the matching bobbin. And it always happens when you are short in time.
Ever since I got these bobbin holders that fit on any roll of thread, no more worries and a lot less cursing!
Available through AliExpress, look for 'sewing bobbin holder', and possibly the fabric store, but it will probably be more expensive.
2 The Sewing Thread Holder
I take much pride in having my sewing thread in order of the colors of the rainbow. I am probably slightly OCD about it. I ordered this wooden rack to change the metal one I had before. Yes, the metal was fine, but this is prettier, please don't judge.
3 IKEA Kallax
I tried all kinds of storage ways for my fabric stash, and my ever growing dye and mordant collection. I love having it all stacked pretty. I tried boxes, hanging, rolling, boxes in a cupboard, rolling in a cupboard, etc. This works. Full stop.
It keeps my fabrics folder great, and has enough space for a lot of small boxes with all my dyes and assists.
I mark my dyes with washable blackboard labels and a white marker. Just because it is pretty.
Amazing Gadgets for Natural Dye Making
4 The Pestle and Mortar.
When I did my natural dye internship with David Santandreu, he introduced me to quite a few nifty gadgets. For some a pestle and mortar will sound like yesterdays' news, but me, I discovered that it does wonders for dissolving all my natural dyes into a solid paste that will simply yield more, and more even color on my fabrics. A must!
Available in most cooking shops.
5 The Laser Thermometer.
I think I ruined three digital thermometers so far, the ones used for cooking that is. Something about the alkaline/acidity of the dye baths sends them to an early death, and lately I was just eye-balling it.
In comes; the digital laser thermometer. Super accurate! Cheap!
True, we spent a nice afternoon checking temperature on various objects, but my dye baths are the real beneficiaries here, being checked in a matter of seconds and super accurate.
6 The Digital PH Meter.
The regular way of PH measuring is with those little pieces of paper. I never made that work. They would get lost, I couldn't figure out the exact color. I probably have another package laying around somewhere. You can have it.
Because I got myself a digital PH meter, and never looked back. Just make sure you rinse well after use.
7 The Digital Spoon Scale
Ideal for measuring dyes and mordants, such as madder and soda ash. Very accurate and does not take up as much space as a regular digital scale.
You can calibrate it, and it works in both grams and oz for my American friends.
If you work with large quantities you are probably better off with a regular digital scale, but I like my spoon a lot and it works for me.
Now available here.
Amazing Gadgets for Eco Printing
8 The Broom Stick.
My all time favourite for rolling bundles. Cheap, readily available in all home supply shops, and easy to adjust in length. I cut them up in pieces of around 40 cm, so they fit in my Cheffing Dish.
9 The Chafing Dish.
Second hand restaurant supply stores are your best friend for chafing dishes. They come in all sizes, but take the 45 cm long one, which will fit 6 bundles snuggly with ease. Because of the rectangle shape they take up less space in storage and they stack easily. Smaller sized pots are great for natural dyes. The 45 cm chafing dish I warm on a double electric plate.
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