Did a little fabric dyeing this month, and have only this one picture to share. I need to make some things with all the hand-dyed fabrics I’ve been accumulating.
Last week’s snow had me trying some snow dyeing. World’s worst photos above, of three separate half-yards. ProChemical has some good basic instructions. I used powder dye (not liquid as described by ProChem) over about 3 inches of snow, which melted onto the scrunched (and soda-prepped) fabric below. I expedited matters a little with a heating pad on low. The first pic shows all 3 half-yards I dyed. The red and black on the right, especially, had too much dye. Black should only be used very very sparingly, I’ve learned. Be sure to wear a face mask if you choose to work with powder dye.
The second photo is a close-up of the green and gold, which came out the best. It’s wonderful to see the dye mixes ‘fracture’ into their component colors.
I’ve been trying to learn about different dyeing techniques, and recently, I tried a pancake batter resist. Yes, pancake batter. You’ve heard of using flour or other starches to create a resist for fabric dyeing. But I had a box of rather ancient pancake mix, so I thought Why Not?
I don’t have any ‘in process’ pictures, but the results were quite intriguing. The first two pictures show the front side of the fabric.
Here’s what I did: I mixed up some pancake mix + water to make a medium to thin batter. I took some white fabric, and pinned it to a foam board, to keep it flat. This is a must, as it will try to curl as it dries. Then I spread the batter on as best I could. It takes A LOT of batter, it turns out, for a half yard of fabric, so some areas were thinner than others. I applied the batter to the foam board on my dining room table. It was a real mess. Dried batter everywhere the next day (floor, table, chairs… did I mention I did this very late at night after some wine…).
In a few areas I did some drawing in the wet batter. You can see a bit of swirls on the left side of the two photos above, and areas on the right where I dragged some fork tines through it. So the marks showed up well in the finished fabric, although I didn’t concentrate of mark making too much. I would have done more, but I didn’t start until I had spread batter on the entire half-yard, and by then much of it was starting to dry.
After the batter dried thoroughly, the fabric was very stiff. I very gently rolled it up and put it into a bucket, where I dyed it using Procion MX dyes mixed with a soda ash solution, in a low water immersion bath. The rolling surely loosened areas of the starch. My results would have been quite different if I had dyed it in place on the foam board. I don’t remember what dye colors I used, but it looks like a purple and a gold. The white areas are where no dye penetrated. Don’t you love the crackle effect?
This last picture shows the back side, where the results were softer and more subtle. I like both!
Hi – an actual reader other than my husband (Yay!) asked that I follow up on the results of my molasses resist, from back in October. Not to be making excuses (hmmm) but after that last post, I went on my long overdue honeymoon, then there was all the holiday stuff, etc etc. OK. So I will try to bang out a number of posts in the next week, to try to catch up a little.
On to the molasses resist. This was really quite easy, and I think effective. The results would have been more clear if I had over-dyed with more of a contrasting color, but I think you can see the effect.
The picture above clearly shows my rings, and application was pretty easy. The whole process was a little sticky, though. I think this would work well when fine detail is not required.
I’m loving playing with fabric dyes, and have a project in the works that will involve stamping and stencils with thickened dye. Hopefully, more on that later.
And thanks to Hilary for reminding me to post my results!
I’ve bought a number of Procion MX dyes lately, from both Dharma Trading and ProChemical, and decided to do some small samples. I soaked a narrow strip of fabric in soda ash and let it dry. Then I cut it down into small squares, about 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 “. In little baggies, I put a small amount of water and tiny amount of each dye (perhaps an 1/8 tsp?) and smooshed it around to dissolve the dye. I put a fabric square in each baggie and let it sit for a several hours.
After washing out the dye and drying with an iron (too impatient to just let something air dry), I used a glue stick to attach the squares to a printed form that I had created in Word. I keep them in a notebook, along with other samples I’ve done. The amount of dye used was very haphazard, and I’m sure there was too much dye in several cases. But it has proved to be a good reference. Here are my results: