This weekend I spent a fair bit of time learning about different eco-dyeing processes. I plan to use this technique to dye recycled fabric that will form part of my installation for the Living Green Festival in Canberra next month.

The work will also feature some solar-powered LEDs that present tidal data. Local programming ace Paul Murray is working on creating code for the lights and he has also been busy this weekend.

He posts:

The microprocessor box has its own USB power plug and a lead to plug into the LED string. It’s pretty short – it really depends on the physical layout of where you want to string it and we won’t know that until you have something.

I have added controls permitting you to control the brightness at high and low tide, and the general “speed” at which everything goes. Beyond that, fiddling with the look of the thing requires tweaking the code and again, we won’t know what looks right until it’s all put together.

The code will drive 200 LEDs at the moment. This means you should be able to plug your other string of lights into the end of this string of lights and they will all go – USB power permitting.

Code is at

Here are some images of the eco-dyeing and coding progress that happened over the weekend. Got to love rainy weekends – great for creativity!

What I love about the eco-dyeing process is that you just need to find stuff close by. It provides a great opportunity to go for a walk around the neighbourhood to find interesting leaves and flowers. Given that the fabric was also found at the Lifeline shop in Belconnen, the finished work will surely be an ode to Belco life…

Talk about act local 🙂

I found some great information online from a number of blogs and websites including:

  • India Flint’s website – India is ‘the original discoverer of the eucalyptus ecoprint’
  • Frankie Magazine has a neat step-by-step guide to dyeing fabric
  • Threadborne has some great examples of the effects you can get from different leaves etc.

Hopefully by next weekend I will have some sort of working prototype that I will share online 🙂

2 thoughts

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