You will find different colors of earth all over the world. Earth pigments are pigments found in the soil. This earth contains natural minerals that give the earth their colors.
You do not use earth pigments, like our other dyes, for dyeing wool. They are not dyes, they do not dissolve in water and do not adhere to the fibers of the wool (cotton, silk etc).
You can use them, when you mix them with a binding agent (like soy milk), for example to paint on fabrics or paper. It is then the binding agent that adheres to the surface.
Quickly go to the recipe to find out how you can get started with your earth pigments! The procedure is the same for all earth pigments.
Read the recipe carefully first. Spread over two or three days you need to take a number of steps.
- 40 grams of organic soybeans
- Earth pigments as desired
- Optional: thickener, e.g. guar gum or gum arabic.
- 1 cup of household soda
- Pots and buckets
- Brushes, stencils, stamps etc.
- First of all, you will make sure that the fibers are properly cleaned. Fill a bucket with enough water, add a cup of household soda and mix well. Put the fabric you want to paint on (for example cotton, canvas or jute) in the bucket and let it sit overnight. Rinse and wring it out the next day and let it dry.
- To allow the earth pigments to bind to the fabric, you use a binding agent. You can use fresh soy milk for this. On day 2 you will make this fresh soy milk, today you start with the preparation: Soak 40 grams of soybeans for 24 hours in a sealable jar with water.
- Making soy milk: Drain the soybeans and rinse the beans under the tap. Blend the soybeans and 1 liter of warm water in a blender for a few minutes. Pass the liquid through a fine sieve, such as cheesecloth, and collect it in a bucket. Put what you have collected in the sieve back into the blender and add some warm water again and repeat the process. Put this in the bucket as well and add an additional 1-1.5 liters of water. Put your fabric in it and let it stand for an hour so that the fabric can fully absorb the soy milk. Wring it out (do not rinse) and let it dry. (You can now also proceed directly to the next step: start making earth pigments and start painting)
- Now you are going to prepare the earth pigments. For every teaspoon of earth pigment, add a tablespoon of soy milk. Mix well so that there are no more lumps and it has become a nice smooth paste. To make the paste thicker, you can add a thickening agent, such as guar gum or gum arabic. (Note: do not use too much thickener, it will quickly become too thick.) Stir well again until you have a nice smooth paste.
- You can start painting on the fabric. For example by using a brush, stamps, templates or a sponge.
When you’re done, let the fabric dry for at least a week before rinsing gently with water.
You could possibly steam it after rinsing or use a steam iron to fix the colors.