Dye Play Day

Yesterday was a “what if” surface design day for me, and I added a couple of techniques to a piece of fabric I had been saving for a dye day. It all started a little after Thanksgiving.

I had a lot of left over paint from making Child’s Play, and decided to use it all up after the piece was finished. I cut a piece of PFD fabric, placed it on a plastic drop cloth, and proceeded to draw circles and make marks:

Painted fabric 1

I let them dry for 24 hours, then heat set them with an iron. The holidays arrived, and the fabric sat in my laundry room till yesterday.

I love stitch resist dyeing so did some straight line stitching in a 12” block arrangement. 5 rows every 2” horizontally, then 5 rows every 2” vertically. Gathered the stitching to get this:

Scrunched Fabric 2

Now to use the last of the print paste I had mixed up – which somehow hardened. I really didn’t want to mix up more, so added a bit of hot water, nuked the container, stirred, nuked the container again, stirred some more, and Ta Da the print paste was rescued.

As this was a totally fun play dye day, I didn’t weigh anything or do any math. I put a plastic teaspoon full of soda ash in the print paste – and I have no clue how much print paste was in the container, with a dash of Pro Chem’s Deep Purple #8147. The fabric was not presoaked in soda ash, so soda ash had to be added to the print paste for the fabric to dye. Using a sponge brush, I painted all the high spots on the dry, gathered fabric, then let it sit in the sun for an hour:

Print Paste 3

A couple of months ago, I had mixed all the dye concentrate I had into one bottle. I have no clue what colors, or depth of shade it was, and being over 2 months old, wasn’t sure if this concentrate would still dye the fabric, but went for it. This concentrate was poured into a plastic container, but didn’t cover the bottom, so I added some water. The fabric was laid flat and squished a bit so there would be no white spots.

After 15 minutes, I added a cup of soda ash water, and batched it in the sun for an hour and a half, and this is the result:

Finished Fabric Close-up

I’m pretty darn happy with the results, and learned quite a bit.

First off, I lost all the red circles made with the Liquitex ink and aloe vera. I’m not sure if that is because the dye concentrate color covered it or not. Most of the yellow disappeared also – made with Adirondack alcohol inks and aloe vera, while only some of the green did, and a lot of the blue stayed – both made with Daler Rowney inks and aloe vera. The bronze circles stayed the best, and they were made with Golden acrylics with lots of textile medium added for a very watery consistency.

The inks were very easy to sew through and gather. The thinned Golden acrylic did not want to be tightly gathered. It also changed the hand of the fabric. Since I used an iridescent bronze there are wonderful highlights in those circles. Everywhere the light hits, it shines.

I know I’m not done playing with this fabric. The bronze circles are way too dominate, and I liked how the circles linked together in the first step, so will definitely add more circles.

I achieved my goal of using up all my old mixed supplies, and now have a totally clean dye studio – also known as my laundry room. It won’t take me long to mess it up again, but it sure was nice to be able to see the top of my washing machine and dryer again. Anybody want to start laying bets on how long it’ll stay this clean? 😉

Hugs…

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