Sunday, 14 July 2019

Rust Dyeing.

I have been a collector of old keys for some time and have some rather nice ones.  Recently someone offered to add to my collection but when they arrived they were so rusty I couldn't think what to do with them and just put them in a drawer.

 I then came across a video on Pinterest showing how to do rust dyeing and suddenly remembered my rusty keys!

I had to adapt the method slightly as my kitchen is minute and I have no designated craft pots or pans.  As only white vinegar, salt and water were the main ingredients I was not too worried.  I dampened my strips of old sheeting and spread them out onto an old plastic cloth.  The rusty keys went on next, just in rows with space in between and the second and third strips with keys on top.   Then the strips are rolled tightly into a single bundle and fastened with string or elastic bands.

The bundle was then placed into a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water - enough to cover it - and left overnight.  Next morning nothing seemed to have happened except that the water had taken on a slight rusty tinge.

I found that my unused and unloved (until now) plastic microwave steamer sat perfectly on top of one of my larger saucepans.  The bundle fitted nicely inside it, and I made a lid from two layers of kitchen foil pressed tightly round the rim of the pan.   All that was needed now was to let it steam and simmer for an hour.  It worked a treat and here are the results.   Each strip is about a yard long and six inches wide.

Even the reverse of the fabric gives a good result though a bit gentler.

This one seems to have snuck in twice.

I keep seeing different images among the key shapes, predominantly tree trunks and old sepia drawings.  I have no idea what to do with my strips but will enjoy thinking about that.

I know I am weird but am really pleased with such a good result at my first attempt.  I shall scavenge my way through life now, looking for rusty bits everywhere.  I hope I don't get arrested.


Kris said...

What a lovely result. The stains are rustic and modern at the same time and, like a Rorschach test, many images appear. Thanks for posting!

Bonnie said...

Your creativity is so fun! I love old style keys and I'm sure that fabric can be used in your lovely books or something similar.

The Weaver of Grass said...

They are beautiful. As somebody said Heather - Fortune favours the prepared mind.

Hill Top Post said...

OH, just splendid! I love them all! I have a small collection of old keys too, so... Thanks for posting the process!

WendyK said...

Fabulous, what great results. I keep collecting rusty things but never do anything with them. Now you have inspired me.
Hugs Wendy