Category Archives: Quilt Tips & Tutorials

Tips and tutorials about anything and everything to do with quilting

Muddy Again!

OK, so after my recent experience with henna dyeing silk dupioni, I came back for more mud.  I spent about three hours stenciling, stamping and painting mud on some more of my fabrics.  I used only a trashed out old paintbrush for all of this work.  Don’t ruin any expensive tools with the mud; the old grotty things you have for stamping and painting will work just fine!

Here are photos from my last session’s mudding in progress (click each photo to get a better view):

Mudcloth

Fabrics, the one on the right wetted and awaiting scrunching

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Wet silk fabric scrunched and awaiting mud

Contemporary African Mudcloth

First results from scrunching and daubing

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Second scrunch/daub session

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Another scrunch/daub session

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Serious scrunching/daubing

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Painting for solid color; note dry mud in dish needs more soy milk before continuing to paint; keep stirring!!

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Painted cloth–so easy and fun to do!

Contemporary African Mudcloth

First daub session

Contemporary African Mudcloth

More daubing–three colors, red, yellow and green but soft, so soft!

Contemporary African Mudcloth

And more daubing

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Stencil over daubs

Contemporary African Mudcloth

One color stripe at left becomes multicolor strip at right by shifting stencil and daubing previously blank areas; love the little peeps of pink flashing through!

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Close-up of multicolor stripe

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Mud/soy milk mixing

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Wet, sloppy stencil stripes; I love the imperfections!

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Dry, tidy stencil stripes

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Stencilled; notice the wet areas around the mud where soy milk soaks the fabric

Contemporary African Mudcloth

Selection of fabrics printed and painted today; I love the textures!

So, I am getting really excited about working with these fabrics.  I can hardly wait to wash out the mud and see how they turn out.

I’ve got more soy milk in the fridge, just waiting for me to get off the computer and head for my studio.  There were two colors of mud I did not use in this last session, so I will play with those in the next one and again share the results with you.

Oh–a caution about using soy milk.  I got some of it on my hands and did not bother to wash it off.  Within five minutes those places on my skin where the soy milk remained began to burn and sting.  If you get soy milk on your skin, wash it off straight away!

What are you working on today?

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Henna Headlines

OK, so I dyed my tied and loose silk Dupioni fabrics in henna.  The results are far less than exciting, but at least the fabric is not damaged.  I still have the option of working it over again with some other medium.

Henna results

Henna results

There must be something about henna that functions much like a surfactant, something that makes water wetter so the bonds that cause dirt to adhere to fabrics or other objects are broken more easily and the dirt washes away.  Whatever that property is, it caused my efforts at tie-dye to come to nothing, because the dye bath soaked all the way through the tied silks!

Apart from some soft mottling, which may have been the result of my carelessness in the original dye lot using Dylon Cold Water dyes that were likely very out-of-date, there is no indication that the fabrics were bound before immersion in the henna bath.

In typical fast-moving Dena style, I neglected to photograph the fabrics before they went into the henna dye bath, so I cannot show you here the difference between any “before” and “after” shots, other than to share once again the original batch.

Poorly dyed pink silk dupioni

Poorly dyed pink silk dupioni

My belief, though, is that the henna browned down the previous sickly pink, but actually made little impact on the fabric at all.  This makes me wonder how light- and colorfast the dye would be over the long term, even if it had been taken up well.  Never mind; nothing lasts forever anyway!!

Probably, the iron and the coffee had more to do with the process than my friend Charu suspected.  My iron was actually not very rusty, and my coffee was not instant coffee nor very strong.  I think of the traditional South African three-legged cast iron cooking pot, a potjie (pronounced poy-kee).  If the cloth was put into an old one of these, healthily rusted inside and out, with the henna and only old coffee (no fresh water), I should think it would indeed dye as Charu expected, but more from the iron and coffee than from the henna.

I hope you enjoyed the video about Mehndi in my last post in this series about the charming tradition of hand and foot painting with henna.  I have seen much of this along the coast of Kenya and one of my nieces who was married in Lamu had a “HENna” party the night before the wedding where she and her bridesmaids were all properly embellished–what fun!

OK, so the lesson to be learned from this experience is, of course, not to view it as a failure.  The experiment failed, that’s true, but I learned a lot from this effort so it was not wasted.

What I learned was that it’s time to turn back to my mud.  So yesterday I put some soya beans in water to soak overnight and whizzed them up in my trusty blender this morning.  I’m well prepared to spend a few more hours stenciling, stamping and painting–perfect activities for a very rainy few days!

Speaking of rain, you may find it interesting as we do that Lake Baringo has actually fallen a few inches.  I have a stick and a special spot where I measure the water level.  I was recently surprised to see that it fell to about 1″ below where the water was when I marked the stick in April, having risen about three inches above that by the middle of September.  Oh, well, more about that in another post, I expect.

Hang in there with me for another couple of weeks while I finish painting my fabrics.  By the time this next batch are finished with painting and preliminary drying (will anything dry in this weather–I wonder?!), it should be about time to begin washing out some of the first fabrics that were mudded over.  I’ll keep you informed of my progress over the next few days and share some more photos of painted cloths here, so be sure to check in with me every once in a while, or else subscribe (top left sidebar under my photo and intro) so you’ll receive notices by email.

In the meantime, why not share here any interesting stories you have about your experiences with dyes, mud or otherwise?  We have soooo much to learn from each other!  Read more . . .

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Mud Morphs to Henna

This series of posts is morphing all the time!  I started out talking about painting silk fabric with mud in soy milk, and now I’m going to tell you what’s been happening with my efforts to dye with henna.  Oh, well; that’s how things go!

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy seeing this quick video I found on YouTube that shows a traditional use of henna commonly practiced, especially popular for weddings, along the coast of Kenya:

For more about Mehndi, a lovely cultural celebration of body and spirit, see Wikipedia.

OK, so my friend Charu said I should try dyeing with henna.  I got a packet of that and saved up leftover coffee for a couple of days, then mixed the two together and set about dyeing a new set of fabrics.  Now, remember, I am over-dyeing a set of fabrics that did not dye well, so the pieces I am working with are already a nasty pink.  I’m determined to transform them into the fabrics of Africa.

Poorly dyed pink silk dupioni

Poorly dyed pink silk dupioni

With Jonny’s help–he twisting and me tying–I managed to tie up a couple of pieces of fabric to make some tie-dye effects.  One piece I wetted, scrunched up and tied into a ball, and the other one I folded on the bias and then we twisted, twisted, twisted as I wrapped the length of the fabric with some old metallic thread I had left over from years ago, the kind of thing I would not use today.  It did the job, though!

The first thing I learned is that henna is a bit tricky to handle.  It’s a greenish powder, rather fine, so if you have allergies as I do you probably won’t want to breathe the stuff.

I mixed about half the packet of henna I had with a small amount of water in my dye basin, and worked hard to stir them together.  The henna clumps, a bit like flour in hot water, so I had to stir too much!  Anyway, I got through that part of it, then added a good deal more water to complete the dye bath.  To that, I added my leftover coffee and some of the coffee grounds, then in went the fabric.  For good measure, I threw in the iron!

Antique iron

Antique iron

Periodically throughout the day, I shifted and stirred the loose fabric, hoping to avoid blatant splotching and result in a smoother dye take-up.  I’m too busy and disinterested and stand over my dye baths, so I often get bits of cloth that look weird and out of place, but never mind that; this is Africa!

Henna, coffee and iron dye bath with fabric

Henna, coffee and iron dye bath with fabric

So, my fabrics sat in the dye bath all night.  This morning, I pulled them out and had a good look.  Not bad, but I was not entirely satisfied.  There was a splotch on the loose fabric that had gone REALLY dark, and I liked the look of that color more than I did the rest of the fabric.  That caused me to think that perhaps I had not used enough henna.  So, I reached for the packet and began mixing some water into what henna remained.

Fabrics halfway through this dye job

Fabrics halfway through this dye job

Not too stupid, I finally figured out that this job would go easier on everyone if I used an electric blender, so I switched the mess to that and in seconds I had a lovely smooth henna paste to add to the same dye bath.  When I took the photo of the pieces of cloth out of the bath, I added in the rest of the henna and gave the bath a good stir, then plunked the fabrics right back into it.  They will sit for another day and night, and I’ll let you know how they turned out in the next episode.  Stay tuned!!

Oh, and if you are enjoying this series of blog posts on mud cloth and henna dyeing, how about clicking on one or more of the Share buttons for me?  Thanks!

Read more . . .

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Mud, Glorious Mud Part 4

OK, so we ran low on fresh fruit and veg in the house and there were a couple of errands to run, so I made the two-hour drive to Nakuru to stock up.  I once made the trip in an hour and five minutes, driving at 130 kph, but in those days the road was good enough.  Not so anymore!  Just getting from our house to the main highway takes me nearly a half hour over unpaved, stony ground!  This is due to Lake Baringo having risen so much over the last couple of years.  I noticed a story about that in The Daily Nation today–all about schoolchildren battling snakes to get an education!

I shopped where I usually do, calling in at the new Gilani Meat and Eat butchery which has recently moved to a new location, and from there going on to Nakumatt for what Gilani’s did not have available. This little video of that Nakumatt’s opening will give you some idea of how modern we are here!

With my grocery cart heavily overloaded and already heading out the door, I remembered that I wanted to find some henna to try out my friend Charu’s suggestion of using it to dye fabric.  I awkwardly spun the overloaded trolley around and headed back in toward Customer Service.  The folks at the Nakuru Nakumatt who work the CS desk are great!!  They quickly put out a call, and someone came from deep in the shop to collect me and show me their stock of henna.  I parked my trolley beside one of the KK Security Guards and headed back into the shop.  Lo and behold, there was henna on the shelf!

I quickly made my last purchase of the day, added the henna to my waiting trolley and bumbled out the door for my car.  I had managed to accomplish all I needed to in the short time I had in town, and I was still facing a two hour drive to get home before dark.

Godrej Nupur Henna

Godrej Nupur Henna

Now, I have the henna!  The brand is Godrej from Mumbai, India, and it is “With goodness of Amla, Brahmi and Bhringraj”–the ingredients are listed as Amla, Bhringaraj, Brahmi, Jaswant, and Henna:  Emblica officionalis, Eclipta alba, Centella asiatica (funny–we used to export this one!), Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis and Lawsonia inermis.  Find Godrej on Facebook and eBay.

Charu said to mix the henna with water and instant coffee and put it into a container with the fabric and some iron.  I happen to have an old iron–I mean, REALLY old.  You may never have seen one of these.  They look much like an electric iron for pressing your clothing, but this one dates from a time before electricity.  The people who used this iron had to set it directly into the fire, then lift it, wipe off any charcoal and “strike while the iron was hot!”  I think this one probably will not suffer too much from a night in a dye bath, so I intend to use it for my alchemical purposes.

Antique iron

Antique iron

What I don’t have, though, is instant coffee.  I cannot think why the coffee would be necessary, but if anything, I’ll simply brew a pot of the real stuff and throw that in for good measure.  To me, instant coffee is a sacrilege and I refuse to buy it!!

So, that’s the next step in my plan, a plan that seems to be unfolding day by day to help me do something with all the pink silk fabrics I have.  I have it in mind to do some kind of tie-dyeing for some of the fabrics I dye with henna, just to add texture.

Yesterday, though, I simply could not wait any longer to see how my mud cloth was doing.  I snipped a bit off one of the painted cloths and washed it in hand soap and cold water to see whether the soy milk had done its job, whether it was working.  OK, so some of the mud washed off, but I’ve definitely got color change!  

First test of mud cloth

First test of mud cloth

In this photo, you see the snippet I cut and laundered.  Notice the dark thread coming off it?  That thread probably took more mud because the fiber were more open than those in the more tightly woven cloth itself.  That thread nearly matches in color the mud you can see on the face of the cloth at top right.  I laid the snippet on the back of the cloth to show the difference in the fabric’s previously dyed color.  My hope is that the mud will result in more color change if I leave it on longer, but even if it doesn’t do that, I’m pretty sure I’m going to prefer the earthier color of the mud paint.

By the way, this last paint job I did, one cloth painted solid with mud, showed me immediately the benefits of working with some kind of resist.  I know you can boil the daylights out of potatoes or rice and use the thickened liquid as a resist.  I’ve done it before on cotton, but it was really hard to wash it out.

I think there’s some dishwashing liquid people in the US use as a resist; does anybody know why it works, what the key ingredient is?  If you do, please let me know in a comment below so I can try to source something similar here; thanks!  Whatever I decide to use, it will have to dry before I paint mud over it; otherwise any imagery would be smeared.

I intend to let the fabrics I’ve printed so far “cure” for about 2-3 weeks before laundering all of them and using them to make a new lot of quilts.  Meanwhile, I’ll give the henna a try and let you know how that turns out.

I realized while painting my mud cloths that I have a definite preference in fabrics.  I LOVE solid colors.  I love stripes, too, because you can twist and turn them in tricky counterplays.  I LOVE textures in dyed cloths, whether actual surface texture like slubs and imperfections, or dyed/printed to look like texture.

I do not like prints!  I don’t like prints because I never know what to do with them!  My designs are almost always based on lines, and prints obscure the seam lines that I find so important.  This is all great news to me!  It shows me a clear way forward in my work!!

What other suggestions do you have for creating color on cloth when you’re in the African bush?!  I need all the help I can get!!  Read more . . .

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Mud, Glorious Mud Part 3

Mud printing, tea dyeing

Mud printing, tea dyeing

I am about to head off to the kitchen to find my mud/soy milk solution and give mud printing another go today.  While I worked printing the last round of mud cloth, I recorded some of my thoughts about the process.  If you are working along with me, or think you might like to try this someday, perhaps you will find these suggestions helpful:

  • You don’t need a huge space for the work unless your fabric piece is very large and would be unwieldy unless otherwise laid flat.
  • If you’re stamping or stenciling, you should probably work on a padded surface protected by a sheet of oilcloth or plastic.
  • The consistency of the solution should be equivalent to that of double cream.
  • Yeast in the air will contaminate the soy milk and start the fermentation process.  Keep unused soy milk tightly covered and refrigerated at all times.  If you have any that has been left sitting out and uncovered, dispose of it rather than mixing it back in with fresh soy milk.
  • Don’t worry about perfection; this is African art!
  • Clean any stencils periodically; otherwise solution runs underneath and makes a mess. Always dry the stencil before using it.
  • Pin down fabrics so they don’t pop up and down as you work.
  • Work toward yourself, rather than away from yourself, constantly moving fabric away from you so you don’t smudge it.  Put the top edge of the fabric in front of you with the excess hanging between you and your table.  Stamp that section, then lift and push the fabric away from you, bringing the next printing area onto the table.  By the time the first section of printing goes over the table edge on the far side, the mud will be pretty much dried in place.
  • Keep stirring the solution so soil doesn’t settle too much.  It will congeal on the bottom and be tough to dislodge.  It’s better to keep the solution in motion.
  • The mud will leave stains on your clothing, so wear an apron.  This is messy work, and the faster you work the messier it will become.
  • Don’t waste your mud.  If you’ve got mud left in the dish, tip off the soy milk, even if it’s a little discolored, and add that mud to some other mud and carry on.  We’re not trying to achieve any particular color, not color matching, so mixtures of different muds will give you more possibilities.  Only make sure that you have enough of that one color of mud to complete the task before you, because you’ll never be able to achieve exactly that same color again!
  • Give thought in advance to working in layers.  If you stamp more than one layer, one mud, at a time, places where the two muds overlap should finish up being the color of the first mud applied.  Make sure you stamp the layers in the correct order for the results you hope to achieve.
  • If you want two colors to create a third color where the layers overlap, print the first layer, cure it, launder out the excess mud, and print the second layer.  Where the second layer overlaps the first, you may achieve a third color.
  • If you vary your process, write simple notes in permanent ink in the selvedge of the cloth, and save that swatch as a permanent record.
  • If the mud cakes on the fabric, there’s not enough soy milk–dilute it.
  • If you spill or misprint, don’t worry.  If you don’t like the effect, you can cut around the error, or stencil or paint over it.  Otherwise, leave the misprint alone; it adds character!
  • The mud is remarkably forgiving.  It sticks to the cloth right where it is meant to go and doesn’t smear because it begins to dry quickly and the soy milk helps hold it together.  If the fabric folds back on itself, the mud won’t smear off and spoil the cloth.  This quality makes mud printing very easy to manage.

I want to try adding black India ink for darkness.  I had thought to work with some mud containing charcoal chips, but as I thought about the possible hardships of working with charcoal, it occurred to me that India ink is proper carbon black in suspension.  How the chemicals in the ink will affect the soy milk and the permanence of the color is yet to be seen.

I’m also wondering about baking the cloth in the hot tropical sun, whether heat setting would help it cure faster.  Uncertain about whether it is a physical or chemical process that causes the mud to adhere to the cloth via the soy milk, I suppose I will have to test this idea as well.  Testing is such a nuisance; I just want to get on and do the work!!

Then, this morning I heard from my good friend Charu Patel.  She had trouble with passwords as she tried to post a comment here, but she had this important information to share:

Totally love reading about your experiments with mud; after reading your last article my eyes are constantly roving for things that can be used as stamps. You really can inspire. Anyway, I would like to tell you of two substances I know that work to dye fabric and are colour fast. One is turmeric. This combined with detergent gives a variation of red/rust colour depending on the quality of turmeric. 

The other is henna powder mixed with vinegar and instant coffee and spread in an iron vessel and kept overnight. This gives a dark grey to charcoal colour. The iron vessel is important as it is the easiest way to get ferrous sulphate. I am aware you are experimenting with mud. Maybe when I see you next I will give you some soil I collected from Jordan which in the ancient times was used as cosmetic. I collected it for fun but it would good to see what color you can get out of it.

 Now, where can I find some henna . . .?  Read more . . .

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Mud, Glorious Mud Part 2

OK, so I collected one more soil sample from near our house and cleaned it.  This one will be called “Baringo Beige.”

I soaked some soy beans overnight, added water to them in my blender and whizzed the daylights out of them.  Pouf!  Nasty stuff!  I can’t imagine actually consuming soy milk (apologies to those who feel they have no choice–no wonder the consumable recipes add sugar)!!  I tried sieving the stuff through a cloth but that was too fine and the soy milk was passing through too slowly for my liking, so I tossed aside the cloth and let the fine sieve do all the work.

Poorly dyed pink silk dupioni

Poorly dyed pink silk dupioni

Then, ready to begin painting the mud on my silk fabrics (the pink ones, remember?), I carried all the stuff I needed down to my studio and got set up.  I had a few things from the kitchen to use as found objects for stamping, and set out my paint and stencil brushes.  I had only a few hours in which to work, so I tried to keep things as simple as possible.

Tools for mud painting on cloth

Simple setup showing tools for mud painting on cloth

As I began working with the soy milk and soil mixtures, a few things became immediately apparent.  There’s an intimate relationship between dry soil and liquid soy milk.  Get too much soy milk, and it will bleed into the fabric, possibly smearing any stamping or painting you do.  Get too little soy milk in the mix and you will paint or stamp too much soil onto the fabric, more than is needed to color the cloth.  That excess soil is simply wasted, so that’s not very economically smart.

Then, as I worked, the completed sections were drying out, clearly showing that the color I was painting was not the color I would achieve on the cloth.  At least, I don’t think it is.  I have to wait a few weeks before laundering my printed cloths to confirm this.

Initial attempts at stamping mud on silk

Initial attempts at stamping mud on silk

Otherwise, the stamping and painting was simple and fun to do!  Funny how such activities bring out the child in each of us!  I used a small rectangular bottle for the rectangles in my first print.  It had a recessed bottom, so only the edges of the bottle bottom carried the paint solution.  A curious side effect of this was that a vacuum was formed every time I stamped, and when I lifted the bottle, little splatters popped away from the printing.  I tried rolling the bottle more gently, but then realized that I did not mind that extra fall-out at all and simply let rip!

Work progressing nicely--looks very African

Work progressing nicely–looks very African

I then used a round stencil brush to mark the dark circles onto the print, this with a different mud.  Finally, I selected a smallish, inexpensive paint brush to lay in the short red slashes.  I would not recommend using an expensive fine arts paintbrush as the mud is going to be pretty hard on those.  Children’s inexpensive and poor quality brushes will work just fine.  If you want to do more delicate work, you may have no choice.

First piece of silk stamped with mud

First piece of silk stamped with mud

The soy milk is sticky and you can feel that if you get it on your hands and it begins to dry.  I worked without rubber gloves and managed not to get much of either the soy milk or the soil onto my hands.  If you’re going to be seriously getting into dirt, you probably ought to have a tetanus inoculation first.  Anyway, it’s the stickiness of the soy milk that gets the job done.  That’s what is going to cause the mud to adhere permanently (I hope!) to the fabric.

OK, so I spent a couple of hours printing my first cloth with mud.  In the back of my mind, I had been wondering whether it might be possible to do something like an immersion dye bath to cover an entire piece of cloth more quickly and possibly more evenly than would be possible by brushing the fabric with the solution.  When I knew I was finished for the day, I dumped all three of the soy/soil color solutions back into the tub of clean soy milk and gave that a good stir.  I picked up a large piece of pink silk and dipped it in, and smushed it all around to get the soil onto it.  Then I wrung it out and threw it down on the verandah in the hot sun.  We get instant drying here, only a few miles north of the Equator.

As might be expected, there was too much soy milk and too little mud!  Disappointed with the immediate outcome, I fell back on Googling to see what else I might learn.  I was also not very comfortable with the idea that my muds were going to dry lighter in value than I wanted.  From Judy Dominic’s work, I took a hint and made up a nice pot of VERY strong tea.  I twisted up my fabric again and dunked it into the tea, and weighted it down with a couple of salad plates.  I left the pot on the verandah overnight, and got up this morning to a somewhat more interesting fabric than what I had to begin with.  Next step is that I’m going to paint more mud onto it, leaving plenty of room for the variations in this piece to show through.

I keep wondering whether I really want to work with 25 yards of pink silk.  If the mud does its job it should tone down and brown up the pinks, but will that be enough?  On the other hand, the pink could be a unifying quality that would ensure that all my fabrics would work together.

Stay tuned, and I’ll let you know how this next piece turns out.  Read more . . .

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Mud, Glorious Mud

So, I wanted some new fabric, right?  So I bought 28.5 meters of white silk dupioni at what must be a reasonable price in an escalating market.  That means it wasn’t cheap!

Then I bought 6 or 7 packets of dye.  I came home and dyed 24 meters using the dyes and guess what–all the fabrics came out PINK!!

So, I gave the matter some thought and decided to try dyeing (painting, actually) some of these disappointing cloths with mud.  Earth pigments have always appealed to me.  They are indeed my colors as I am an autumn color type, and there’s something so fundamentally earthy about using mud–I love the idea!

So, on my last trip home from Nairobi, I stopped several places along the road and collected some soil specimens.  I had a great time doing this, making up a fictitious story about being a visiting geologist from some obscure oil or diamond company looking for the right soils to indicate that 2000 feet below lay riches beyond belief!

Instead, a couple of fellows took great interest in the notion that mud could be used to color fabrics.  One happy guy even offered me the use of his panga (that’s not a dirty word; it’s a machete) to chip some stubborn clay out of a bank.

I could see their minds working, “I must run straight home and tell my wife that she should be dyeing fabric with mud!”  I did impress upon these fellows that they would need cow’s milk or soy milk to bind the mud to the cloth.  It should not surprise me, then, next time I go to Nairobi, to see lengths of mud-painted cotton cloths waving from clotheslines along the sides of the highway, right?!

Cleaning soil

Cleaning soil–the cup is for my coffee; all else is for washing dirt

Anyway, I brought my soil samples home and set to work cleaning them.  A somewhat messy business that reminded me very much of my years working with ceramic clays, the job was one that took me away from the computer and let me work in the out-of-doors–I loved it!!

So, I washed the dirt and sieved it with a fine plastic sieve, let it settle in plastic ice cream tubs (that was good, too!), and then poured off the excess water.

Tubs of clean dirt drying in the sun

Tubs of clean dirt drying in the sun

I LOVE THE COLORS!!!

Now, two days later, the soils are really drying out, having been left out in the hot sun (jua kali).  The colors are lighter than they were when the soil was wet, but still they are indeed the colors of Africa!!

Dried dirt samples

Dried dirt samples

The red on the right is from Nairobi, and the orange on the left is from Limuru, higher above Nairobi.  It was drifting down through the red iron oxide (?) of the lower lands.  See the set of four colors together just to the right of center?  That was my comparison of browns–quite a range!  The near white was the toughest to clean; I had to pound it with my hammer.

I just love getting down and dirty!!  ;-)

Next step:  soaking the soy beans!  Read more . . .

 

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