Dialogue 1 – Compost Cloth

As part of my studies I am working with different ways the natural environment can leave its mark on textiles. I am calling each of these attempts – dialogues.
The first dialogue is a quickie – with the compost. I put a length of unbleached cotton in the compost, undisturbed for a month. This was the result.
Here is the textile out in the understory of a maple.
Looks pretty decayed and stained…
…but when I washed it most of the dark staining came out. There is some left so the cloth has changed colour.
The soft decayed edges are the best parts.
I have a desire to preserve this textile so I am researching darning and patching methods and will next do some sampling.
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0 thoughts on “Dialogue 1 – Compost Cloth

  1. Dorothy Clews

    Hello Lesley, Linda Wallace (my co collaborator in composting tapestries) directed me to your blog. I love the staining on the cloth before it was washed. Was the cloth in a an active compost heap? I guess at this time of the year it would have a cool temperature. I have not done this with my 'planted'tapestries but I wonder if painting the cloth with soy milk and curing before composting would help to preserve the marks. This is done when using natural dyes and cellulose fibres.

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  2. Lesley Turner

    Hello Dorothy, Thanks for your helpful comments. i will try the soy milk. yes it was an active compost but as you said, a cool time of the year. I have had better staining results with textiles under fallen leaves. I'm in the middle of sampling finishes to keep all the bits of leaves & seeds stuck to the cloth before I stitch. i'll keep you posted.

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