Before we get to the video, I have an explanation with photos prepared of how we created this cannabis dye bath, and our T-shirt project for Anarchapulco.
The Cannabis Dyeing process
First, Hempress and I started with cannabis fan leaves (aka water leaf) that were left over from our Backyard Cannabis Grow (we normally use this material to create medicated coconut oil for cooking cannabis edibles). I took the raw leaves and ground them by hand into the finest material possible (close to powderized).
As I ground the raw cannabis material, Hempress was washing and mordanting the shirts, so that the dye stuff we eventually created would stick to the now clean fabric. We then let the shirts sit in the mordant overnight. Also, after I finished grinding the cannabis leaves, we immersed them in water, and stirred/heated the mixture for many hours. We then let the mixture sit overnight to fully extract the dye stuff from the leaves.
Today I strained all the leaves out of the dye/raw material mixture, using a mesh kitchen strainer. This part of the process is actually quite a bit of work when using raw materials instead purchasing of pre-processed extracts (since you are essentially creating the extract yourself). I had to apply a ton of pressure for each handful of material that went thought the strainer to fully extract all the dye stuff. After processing all of it and dumping the rest of the liquid through the strainer, I then re-strained the material into another steel pot, to capture any more raw leaf material I may have missed or went through the strainer (a bigger strainer that fits over the entire pot with a finer mesh screen can make this process much faster - I am currently looking for the right one).
After everything is properly strained, and the fabric has been properly cleaned and mordanted, then it is time to soak the shirts in the dye bath for several hours (or overnight for a darker color). This is the part of the dying process I have created a video for, and is the coolest part for sure. It is also important to remember to keep the shirts completely submerged during this stage, and stir them frequently to ensure proper and even dye distribution on your fabric.
Also in this video, I explain/show our low impact tie dye plans and materials we have just received in the mail from Dharma Trading Company - a great place to order low impact dyes for tie dying btw.
After all the dying is done on these 250 unbleached, organic cotton fabric t-shirts from W.R.A.P. certified factories, I will take them to Pacific North Press here in Portland, to have the collaboration design from the top two winners in the Anarchapulco logo design contest printed on the front, with the miniaturized third place design printed on the back, closer to the neck of the shirt. I have not officially released the final Anarchapulco design for the shirts, but will once they are printed.
Please enjoy the following video demonstrating the actual dying part of this process, and our tie dying plans. We shot this video a couple of months ago.
In case you are wondering, low impact dyes are the most eco-friendly dyes you can use to dye fabric BESIDES herbal dying with plants. Herbal dying's carbon footprint is little to none when collecting your own plants (which is what is demonstrated in the video), while low impact dyes have a minimal carbon footprint - less than all other dye types (synthetics).