Saturday, June 17, 2017

Natural fabric dye & fostering

Hello and welcome to Summer! The heat is on, the evenings are longer and the days are relaxing. I decided to give something a try which I have never done before, natural fabric dye. The idea behind this is to try alternatives to traditional chemical dyes. You can find many posts online dedicated to this practice with many ways to do it. I tried a method of soaking the fabric in white vinegar for a few hours, rinse, then try to dye it.

boiling blueberries

I would boil some fruit such as blueberries (I also tried spinach for green and turmeric for yellow) and place the cotton whit fabric in the boiling pot for about an hour. 

straining turmeric

I then let the fabric soak in the colored dye water for a few hours, rinse in water and line dry. But how did it go? Well after I gave them a second rinse the color hadn't taken very well. I think in the future I will have to try a different method for this. Because as you can see, after the first rinse and line drying, they color was quite bright.

sadly the spinach for green ended up a pale yellow

But what else is going on in my home? Good thing you asked, because....

foster kitten Sherlock
foster kitten Watson

Meet my foster kittens! About 7 weeks of age about now and starting to explore my home. I named them, if only for a way to address them beyond "kitten 1 & 2" since most shelters tend to re-name kittens when they are ready for adoption. So please meet grey & white Watson and all grey Sherlock. 
Now I've been doing this for over six years now. Shelters of all types often need volunteers with the space and time to open their home to homeless pets. They are not always young, some can be several years old. They could have been feral, from a family that could not care for a litter or a surrender-by-owner situation. And it's not just cats but dogs, rabbits and other animals that need foster care with shelters nationwide. I specialize in socializing cats, correcting behavior (with positive reinforcement, such as take them directly to a scratching post to learn it) and how to live in a household that can be busy, noisy and have other pets. 

our dog Choji relaxing with Watson

So if you ever want to help locally I'd suggest finding a shelter and stopping in. You may be required to take a course (often for free or a small fee), some shelters ask you to supply litter and cat food (others supply it for you) and they may have their own guidelines to follow. I can share pictures but I can not reveal the shelter name or when these two are available as per their guidelines. But if you have the time and space to spare, do consider giving back to your community and volunteering with a shelter!