Ugly Fabric Challenge

I signed up to participate in an Ugly Dyeing Fabric Challenge this past spring, and finished my piece before the deadline. For this procrastinator, that is a minor miracle.

The challenge consists of the leader sending all the partiicpants a piece of hand-dyed fabric that she thinks is ugly. I really didn’t think it was ugly, but we are supposed to try different techniques on the fabric and transform it. Here is a picture of the original:

Ugly fabric original

There was quite a bit of brown in the fabric, so I thought I’d try discharging it in a solution of 50% Clorox bleach with 50% water, and this is what happened when the fabric was submerged:

Ugly fabric bleach bubbles

It looks like it’s in a bubble bath. The minute that fabric hit the liquid it started bubbling. When I swished it around, even more bubbles surfaced. After 5 mintues, I took the fabric out, neutralized it with anti-chlor, then rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed. The fabric would not stop forming bubbles. Hoping a trip throught the washing machine would help, I tried that next. Nope, the washing machine filled up with suds, but this is what it looked like after being washed and dried:

Ugly fabric discharged

Onto the next step. We were enjoying some nice sunny weather, so I thought I’d try sunprinting for the first time. I used Setacolor Transparent – Oriental Red and Dy-na-Flo Periwinkle – 2 parts fabric medium, 1 part paint – with a crocheted doily over the top:

Ugly fabric sun printing

And here are the results:

Ugly fabric finished

And here is a close-up:

Ugly fabric finished close up

I was really disappointed with my results. I was hoping for more distinct images, but the mottled fabric background combined with the airy crochet stitch, did not make for a good sun printing session. Lesson learned – use a solid image if you want a good print. The doily let in too much sunlight to the background fabric for a distinct print.

This was my first time participating in this challenge, and I’m afraid I turned a nice looking fabric, into a really, really ugly fabric. All is not lost though. It was a great learning experience. Thank-you, Barbara for offering me this opportunity.



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