Rusty metal is a really interesting material to dye with. It produces a warm orange and brown color and you can make patterns with it. Take a look how I dyed fabric with rusty sheets!
Step 1: Dyeing - What You Need
To dye the fabric with rust, you need:
- A spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Fabric (natural fabrics made from, for example, cotton and linen work the best)
- Rusty objects
Step 2: Spray It
The first step is to spray a combination of water and white vinegar on the fabric with the spray bottle. It's important that the fabric is all wet. The white vinegar will speed up the process of the rust coming of the metal and go into the fabric.
Step 3: Create Pattern
To dye the fabric I'm using rusty sheets. By folding the fabric over the plates and put new plates on top I covered the whole piece of fabric. Make sure the fabric stays wet by spraying water and vinegar on the fabric and rusty objects. You can sprinkle some salt over the metal and fabric, salt has the similar effect on rust as the white vinegar.
Make sure the rusty metal is pressing on the fabric by putting some heavy weight objects on top op de metal.
Step 4: Sneak Preview
After a couple of minutes the textile is already absorbing the rust. Try to be patient and wait at least a day/night before you remove all the rusty objects from the fabric.
Step 5: Remove Rusty Objects
After a day or night of absorbing, you can see a pattern of brown, orange and even green colors. Remove all the rusty objects and see the result!
Step 6: Fixing - What You Need
To fix the pattern on the fabric and stop the rusting process, you need:
- Container or bucket filled with hot water
Step 7: Fix It
Create a fixing bath by dissolving a spoon of salt in the bucket with hot water. Use this bath to rinse the fabric and to fix the rusty pattern. I used two fixing baths and also rinsed the fabric twice with clean water, without salt.
Step 8: Let It Dry
Let your dyed fabric dry. Let the rusty objects also dry, so you can reuse them.
The fabric is now ready to use! Check out my Instructable about making a Rust Dyed Tote Bag: