Carol Sloan here.
I've been talking about natural dyeing and eco printing in my last few posts. I am still busy at my outdoor work table, experimenting with nature's bounty to see what kind of colors and textures I can get.
My husband and I have been staining fabric & paper with rust (some call it "rust dyeing") for several years now. I love that as well. I live in the northwestern corner of South Carolina (I'm not trying to confuse you I promise) where it is H.O.T. in the summer.
Both of these are excellent for rusting things.
Add a little vinegar to the heat and humidity and you will have a piece of rusted paper or fabric in a matter of hours.
Put all of that in a rice steamer and you get mucho grande rust in minutes!
Here is a cotton jersey scarf that I rusted.
It was the first one that I did that way so I didn't really keep track of the exact number of minutes that I left it in there. I'd set it on 30-40 minutes, check it, then add a few more minutes if I thought it needed it.
Repeat a couple of times and presto!
A beautiful scarf with wavy, sensuous lines of a deep rust color.
And no rust particles that you get with "regular" rusting.
My guess is that, since your fabric/environment stays wet (or moist), the particles of rust do not dry on the surface the way that they do with rusting in a bag or under plastic.
I can't wait to wear one and see what kind of questions I get. I make other types of artsy scarves and always get comments and questions when I wear them.
I have even sold a couple right off of my neck!
I am working on an artist book that uses rust, plant fodder and other ordinary materials that give extraordinary results.
I'll post some photos when I am finished with it (unless I decide to submit it for an article).
Follow my blog for more tales of mad scientist art experiments.