How to tie-dye with natural dyes

June 26, 2020 by  
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The tie-dye look was once incredibly trendy. Then, it became retro. Now, it’s classic. Tie-dye is fun, bright and colorful, and when you don’t know what to match with what or which piece should go with another, tie-dye is the perfect solution. But if you work with chemical dyes, you’re going to end up inhaling fumes and possibly exposing yourself to dangerous toxins. Use natural dyes for tie-dye projects instead, and then you can also have fun simply making the dyes before you even begin making all of your beautiful tie-dye items. Making natural dye No matter what vegetables you’re using, you’ll need to assemble some basic tools to start making your own dyes. Get a knife for chopping, a cheesecloth for straining and a couple of large bowls. You’ll also want measuring cups and standard table salt. Make sure you’ve got a good blender, too. This is the main item you’ll use for turning vegetables, berries and plant waste into bright, beautiful dyes. Related: A guide to the best plants for dyeing fabric and fibers naturally Once you know the method for making dye , you can make just about any color of dye you like. First, get some latex gloves that give you good flexibility. You may end up staining your fingers while you’re making dye if you choose not to wear gloves. Either way, make sure you’ve got clean hands and good knife skills when you chop up your veggies, berries and other plant products. Assemble your ingredients on a cutting board, get your knife and go to work hacking up all those items. After you chop up your raw ingredients into manageable pieces, put about two cups of chopped veggies into a blender with two cups of very hot water. The water should be near boiling, but not boiling. Blend the vegetables and water until you create a slurry. This slurry can be strained through a cheesecloth into a clean bowl. Add one tablespoon of salt to the mixture and stir it thoroughly until the salt dissolves. Making different colors This process of chopping vegetables and straining them can be used for veggies in any color to create all sorts of different shades of natural dye. To make red, try beets. If you want purple, add some red cabbage to the beets to make the color richer. You can also use herbs rather than vegetables, if they have a color shade you like. Parsley, for example, makes a lovely deep green color when you use this method. Turmeric and plants in the mint family make beautiful yellow and light green dyes. If you want a color that’s more golden, try dandelions. Blueberries are very effective for creating blue. If you are looking to make brown, try using tea or coffee grounds. Carrots make a gorgeous orange color. Once you start experimenting with various berries, herbs and vegetables, there’s no limit to the different color shades you can create with items you can get at the local farmers market . Natural dyes existed for thousands of years before synthetic dyes came along. Civilizations throughout history used natural dyes to create gorgeous color shades. You can do the same and create your own eco-friendly dyes right in your own kitchen. Start saving vegetable peels, rinds, skins and other waste materials to start making dyes. After all, not everything has to go straight in the compost bin. Tie-dying Tie-dye is pretty ubiquitous, but not everyone actually knows how to do it. You can create a pretty big mess and cause yourself a lot of frustration if you don’t understand the process. But once you do, tie-dying is like riding a bike. You’ll be equipped with the skills to tie-dye for life. Before you dye your clothing, mix one cup of salt with 16 cups of water and four cups of vinegar and bring the solution to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the fabric in this salty water for one hour. Run the fabric under cold water and wring it out after it has simmered long enough. Bunch a portion of the fabric in your hand, give it a little twist and put a rubber band around it. Do this as many times as you’d like, whether you want one bunched portion or several. Now, you can soak your material in the dye you made until it turns the shade you want. Do this for all of the colors you want to include in your design. For easier dying, you can also pour your homemade natural dyes into bottles to squirt or pour the dye on the fabric as desired. Carefully cut off the rubber bands and line-dry your fabric after it has been dyed. You’ll have to use very gentle detergent or hand-wash your tie-dyed items, because the color will fade more quickly than synthetic dyes. Luckily, if you do need to brighten your tie-dyed fabrics in the future, you can easily do so with natural dyes. Images via Oct Snow , Yuha Park , Deborah Lee Soltesz and Suzanne

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How to tie-dye with natural dyes

LEED Platinum Stockman Bank harvests rainwater and solar power in Missoula

June 26, 2020 by  
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In Montana’s historic downtown Missoula, a Stockman Bank branch has recently earned LEED v4 Core and Shell Platinum certification — the second building in the U.S and the fifth worldwide to receive such accreditation. Designed by Billings-based architecture firm Cushing Terrell , Stockman Bank’s Missoula location boasts energy-efficient and energy-saving systems throughout, from high-performance glass and solar arrays to an innovative on-site rainwater system that provides 100% of average annual water use for toilet and urinal flushing. The six-story bank uses 75% less energy and 69% less water than a comparable office building. Certified LEED v4 Platinum in September 2019, Stockman Bank’s downtown Missoula branch spans 67,753 square feet across six floors, two of which are used as parking with space for 137 vehicles, covered bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging systems. The top three building levels include outdoor terraces, while the sixth-floor rooftop level features a lush garden space that can be used for meetings, entertaining and community activities. The roof level overlooks panoramic views of Missoula and the surrounding valleys and is also topped with a 48.75 KW photovoltaic array with 150 solar panels that provide 11% of the building’s energy. Related: Solar-powered Lowell Justice Center will be Massachusetts’ first LEED Platinum courthouse Despite the building’s inclusion of high-tech, energy-saving technology, the bank’s appearance is firmly rooted in the local vernacular respectful of its historic district location. The masonry exterior uses brick and quarried granite from South Dakota as well as cast stone detailing and a high-performance glass curtain wall that floods the interior with natural light. Approximately 70% of recycled material was used in the steel frame construction.  In addition to rainwater harvesting and solar panels , the bank includes an open-loop ground source heat pump system and chilled beams as well as energy-efficient elevators with regenerative braking to recoup electricity in descent. + Cushing Terrell Photography by Heidi Long via Cushing Terrell

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LEED Platinum Stockman Bank harvests rainwater and solar power in Missoula

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