I’ve been having trouble with getting dressed lately. It’s been cold (ish) and the north wind is making it really un-fun to be outside, but we’ve been trying to reach a good stopping point with the build site before Sunshine has to head out of town again. So I’ve been having to pile on multiples of layers to stay warm while I help him. It’s made getting dressed a chore; I’m uninspired to put together an outfit I like when I know that I’m just going to be piling shit on to prevent hypothermia as I crawl around in a bunch of fucking dirt.
Today, I had some time to get creative and take some boring warm layers and add some visual interest to them. I also give myself bonus points for figuring out a way to do so without running to the store and buying anything. I asked Sunshine if the mortar color he uses for his spray-on limestone product caused permanent stains on clothes. His answer was “indeed, but those colors will come out…” (What I heard after that was kind of blah-blah-blah, but I got the gist of it–the colors would be muddier, less saturated than the actual mortar color pigments look like they would.)
I took the two sweaters I was angriest at (a lavender base layer and a tan tunic) and gathered up my supplies. Sunshine dug up some black and some brown mortar colors, and I got myself some gloves and a spoon (because I didn’t want to dye my fingers, just the sweaters).
I wet them down with lukewarm water and proceeded to sprinkle them with spoonfuls of mortar color pigments. After I was satisfied with the mess I had created, I hung them on the clothesline to marinate.
I went about my business with the shovel for a few hours until the neighbor showed up looking for Sunshine. He took a look at what I was doing, and said he was interested to see what the sweaters looked like after a rinse.
Thus far, I’m pretty pleased with the results. I’ve left them hanging out there to marinate some more before I give them a proper washing. I especially like the variations within the tan sweater. There are some black spots in the tan sweater because, apparently, I didn’t clean my work surface properly in between sweaters. I ain’t mad at it, though.
Once I’ve given them a proper laundering (in my laundry pod, not the electric machine, because this mortar color will fuck up some clothes if it doesn’t rinse out completely), I’ll be so glad to have some warm layers that don’t bore me to tears. The colors I added may fade a bit more when I wash them, but I’m OK with that since I really really like things that look like they survived the apocalypse and faded colors fit that bill perfectly.
final note: seriously, mortar color will fuck some shit up. While it contains no lime that would destroy the fibers, it is some serious pigment that is designed to change the color of shit like rocks, bricks, mortar, grout, cement, and such. Do not try this at home. If you DO decide to try using mortar color as fabric dye, I am not responsible for any stained skin or ruined clothes.