Archive for the ‘Dyeing’ Category

Dyeing Again

October 20, 2018

It’s been a long two years since I’ve dyed anything.  I was happily dyeing fabric, and then broke my left wrist.  It took a full year to recover from that break – which was actually more of a shattering.   Right after that, I broke my right femur, then 6 months later I broke my left ankle.  I had real good reasons for not dyeing, didn’t I?

Everything is A-Okay now, so out came the dyes and all my supplies.  I started out  with an ice dyed t-shirt and napkin scrap:

T-shirt

My t-shirts sometimes become one large bib at times, so I save them by overdyeing them.  The food stains disappear, and I get to wear the rejuvenated t-shirt again in public.  Happy Days!!!

The little fabric scrap is from a cotton/linen blend napkin.  I purchased oodles of these napkins years ago, and decided it was time to start using them as I intended – to dye them, and use them to create comfortable summer tops.  Yes, I’ll have to take out the seams as those were sewn with polyester thread, and it will be a lot of seaming to create yardage, but I wanted that look.  I want the seams to be part of the top designs.  Hopefully it will create lovely lines, and my tops will be interesting and unusual.

I threw the fabric scrap in the bottom of the container, then put in a colander, the soda soaked t-shirt, ice cubes, and sprinkled lots of Cherry dye I received from a friend.  Have no clue what it really is as the little container just said Cherry on it.  Added very little Procion 629 to tone down the Cherry, and then added even less Procion Grape 801.

The Grape was added at the last minute as an entire shelf of dyes was exposed to a lot of heat from a dehumidifier – by accident, and I was worried they were ruined.  Happily, the Grape still worked, and the purchase date was May of 2004.  Imagine that.  All those years, all that heat exposure, and it still worked.  More Happy Days!!!

The dye container sat in my laundry room for a good 7 hours, and the ice wasn’t totally melted.  No surprise there.  I have the heat set at 67, and had 2 layers of big ice cubes on that shirt. Worried the dyes wouldn’t take, I put the whole shebang in my dedicated dye microwave, and zapped it for 55 seconds, checked the container, and it was still cold, so kept on zapping and checking till the container warmed up.  Then every 15 minutes, I’d zap it for another 55 seconds.  I did this for an hour.

Next step was to rinse it in cold water, then let the t-shirt soak overnight in cold water.  Rinsed a very little in hot water this morning, then threw it in the washing machine on super hot.  I love my LG washing machine.  It heats up the water for a Sanitizing cycle, and saves me from having to raise the temperature on my hot water tank.   I used my usual detergent – All Clear, and Voila!!! all the excess dye came out with minimal water usage.

I am soooooooo happy to be dyeing fabric again, and decided purchasing a Wonder Washer would make dyeing those napkins much easier than doing a lot of stirring, so am ordering one of those later today.  The goal is to dye those napkins in gradations with the lightest pieces close to my face, and gradated darker towards the bottom of the tops.  Stay tuned to see how that works out.

Hugs…

 

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Dyeing Again

June 22, 2017

It’s been 10 months since I’ve dyed anything, and it felt really good to get the MX Procion dyes back out again.  To be truthful, a bunch of them were on the top of my dryer from my last dye session of August 2016, but a broken wrist does impede one from cleaning up.  I’ll grasp at any excuse for being bad about cleaning up my laundry room/dye studio.

 

I’m part of the MXdyers Yahoo group and Barbara issued an Indigo Challenge.  She vat indigo dyed some fabric, didn’t like the grey she was getting, so offered fat quarters to members as long as we added at least 2 steps to the fabric, using only MX Procion dye.
First off,  I loved the fabric as I received it.  I so wanted to use it “as is” in a project, but refrained.  It is gorgeous, is it not?

Original

Sooooo, I started with masking the white pentagon lines with painters tape, and stenciled a design across the fabric using the formula for color #19 in Playful Fabric Printing.   I made a boo-boo at the bottom, and stenciled in the wrong area.  It happens, sad but true.

Unmasked

After removing the blue painters tape from the centers, I really, really wanted to stop here.  I know – from past experience – that I usually love what I do after one change, and hate what I do after the second change.  True to form, I hate the second step.

Sun Yellow

I used a 10% dye concentrate of Sun Yellow, adding soda ash to the container, and experimented with it.  The bottom half of the designs had 8 drops of uncolored soda ash water put on it, and then 8 drops of Sun Yellow dye concentrate.  The top half had 8 drops of Sun Yellow dye concentrate only put on it.  I wanted to see if there would be a difference between applying dye on dry vs wet for this project.

I honestly can’t see much difference between the two, and I really, really, really hate the sun yellow on this piece of fabric.  I was going to go with violet, and was afraid the color wouldn’t have shown up enough.  I should have gone with the violet.  And after I put the drops in the middle, I thought about putting the drops along lines so a star burst effect could be created.  Obviously, my  brain needs to work a little faster than my hand.

It did feel good to get a little dyeing done, and I threw in a couple of fat quarters to use up the black print paste I made, and the Sun Yellow dye concentrate I made.  Nothing goes to waste in my dye studio, and because I had added the soda ash to the containers, they had to be used up quickly.  No pictures of them, but the black print paste yielded a very dark shade of eggplant when I added water to cover the fat quarter in its container, and the Sun Yellow fat quarter is blindingly Sun Yellow.  Trust me, 10% dye concentration gives a very strong yellow.

It’s all good. I learned a lot, tried different ideas, and got my brain back in an MX Procion kind of mood.  😉

Hugs…

Ice Dyeing Again

June 27, 2016

I was supposed to be with my friends today making covers for our electronic devices, but the heat and humidity got to me. I opened the garage door, and my stomach let me know to stay put, so I did.

On the plus side, I got to photograph the last two ice dyed fabrics:

Diane mandala

Diane 60 degree

A simple twisted mandala, and more complex to create, a 60 degree equilateral triangle. I don’t like the triangle piece at all, and the jury is out about the mandala.

I used a lot, and I mean a lot of Pro Chems Sun Yellow 108. Then placed some of Pro Chems Turquoise 410 next to it. I was hoping for some nice greens, and was worried the Turquoise wouldn’t ice dye, so added a little smidgeon of Dharma’s Cerulean Blue 23. Next to that, I placed some of Pro Chems Deep Purple 8147, reconsidered the purple next to the hoped for green, and added a thin line of Pro Chems Black 629 between them.

Where oh where did the black go? Can you find it in these pieces? I can’t.

Next up is transforming a pink t-shirt. Somehow food spills manage to hit my t-shirt, before they hit the napkin on my lap, so I’ve got 3 that need ­­a little assistance.

For sure, one will be dyed, and the others? I’m thinking stamping with thickened dye for one of them, or maybe applying some lace shapes, or a little embroidery. All I know is I would like to be able to wear these t-shirts in public again.

Hugs…

Ice Dyeing

June 26, 2016

I’m currently taking the Ice Dyeing Revealed workshop by Susan Purney Mark and having a grand time dyeing fabric. Now I’ve been ice dyeing for a lot of years, but Susan shows how to create some wonderfully complex patterns pretty easily. It was definitely worth it for me to take this workshop.

I used Pro Chem’s Bronze #5193, Navy #412 and Rosebud #3216 for the following pieces:

Crunch

Diane ET

Diane accordionThe ones on the left had the dye put directly on the fabric, then covered by ice.

Diane powder placement

 

I got deeper colors and lots of dye speckles by using that method, and that was not taught in the class. The ones on the right, used a tip that Susan shared, and then I placed the dye powders on top of the ice. The same colors, in the same proportions were used for both containers, and they were batched for a full 24 hours.

Quite a difference between the two sides, no?

The first picture features fabric that was crunched dyed – which is the only technique I’ve used in the past. You just rumple up the soda ash soaked fabric, and place it in the container.  I was happy with ice dyed crunched fabric, but over the moon with the results from the pieces using the folds I learned in this class.

More pieces are being batched right now, and I used different colors for those experiments. Can’t wait to see how they come out.

 

Hugs…

 

 

Prayer Flags

December 22, 2015

Last year I made a couple of prayer flags, showed them to some friends, took some pictures, posted them on this blog, and haven’t seen them since.  Sometimes things like this happen in life.

Well, I still wanted a set of prayer flags to wave in the Arizona breezes, so got busy and made some very simple prayer flags. No more stamping, hand beading, or fabric dyeing for these.   This time around, I selected machine embroidery designs I purchased, or received free from various generous digitizers.

I sewed out an eagle design on my hand dyed blue fabric for sky:

Sky

A feather on white fabric for air:

Air

A fireman’s badge (my Dad was a fireman) on red fabric for fire:

Fire

A fish on green fabric for water:

Water

And a cactus on yellow fabric for earth:

Earth

They will be displayed by our patio for all my neighbors to enjoy as they walk by our site.

And wow, do they ever need to be ironed, and the holes from the outline box on the cactus/earth flag need to be smoothed out.  It’s amazing how a photo shows every little oops.

Hugs…

Dye Play Day

January 2, 2015

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…

More Dyeing and Finished Table Runner

July 27, 2014

Ater painting that “ugly” fabric using gathering stitches, I wanted to see what would happen with a piece of silk fabric I had in my collection. This time I sewed straight lines 2″ apart on a fat quarter:

Silk Original

I gathered it down to 2.5″ and used some thickened Procion MX 8147 Deep Purple dye on one side, and a mix of Procion MX 8147 and Dharma 300 New Black on the other side:

Painted

I can’t stop myself from saying, is that not gorgeous?

I added soda ash to the thickend dye, and painted on the fabric while it was dry. Then it was wrapped in plastic, and put outside to batch in the sun for 5 hours.

There is virtually no color run off when you rinse silk – gotta love that – and the result was the beautiful fat quarter. Now what to do with it? It’s too lovely to go back into the fabric collection, and quite frankly, my fabric collection is going to outlast me. It’s about time I use some of the lovelies.

And speaking of lovelies, the table runner is finally completed:

Finished spicy tablerunner

It took awhile to complete the quilting as I used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. All that double stitching takes longer to complete, but it was worth it. And if anybody will be in the Brockport, NY area, you will be able to see this is person. It will be on display in the A Different Path Gallery from September 5-26, 2014, along with my First in Flight piece.

Hugs…

Ugly Fabric Challenge 2014 – Wrap Up

July 25, 2014

Playing with this fabric is a bit like eating potato chips. You can’t stop with trying one technique.

After soaking the fabric overnight in cold water – to get the excess dye out of the floral screen print – I was pleasantly surprised that the flower actually was visible:

Dyed floral

Now I pursposely placed that screen over the lightest part of this dyed fabric, but when it was wet, it was not visible at all. I should have waited for it to dry and then ironed, before I said it disappeared. Live and learn. Please double click on the picture, and look on the right side. You should be able to see the floral design well.

I was very unhappy to discover that soaking this fabric overnight in cold water – to make sure all the screen dye was rinsed out – drastically changed the deColourant Plus colors. If you compare this photo with the one from yesterday, you’ll see the green is almost totally gone, the red is much lighter, and the blue is not visible at all. Now I know that deColourant Plus can’t hold up to a long cold water immersion. This is actually a good thing to learn on this project, because I like this product, and now know what order to use it when putting multiple layers on cloth.

There was still lots of fabric below these techniques, so I drew some lines 1.5″ apart from each other, and stitched them with a basting stitch:

Stitched

Then I pulled the stitching to create these gentle gathers, and painted over them with a foam brush, using 1 part Cobalt Turquois Golden Fluid acrylic to 4 parts Golden GAC-100:

Gathers

The fabric was a little over 12″ long scrunched down to 2″. After drying, I removed the stitching and this is what I got:

Finale

I absolutely love the randomness of this. This is a technique I will most likely do again with soda ash soaked fabric and thickened dye. By the way, the white lines will disappear when washed. I use Prismacolor white pencils to draw on dark fabrics, and they wash out easily, leaving no trace behind.

Am I done with this fabric? For now, yes, but if I use this is an art quilt, I can see adding some beads, and some thread work. I do love the turquois against this purple, and think it would be lovely with some copper metal, or that gorgeous rose gold look. Sheesh, now that I’m writing about it, you know I’m going to have to try it.

Hugs…

Ugly Fabric Challenge 2014 – Addition

July 22, 2014

This time around, I decided to add color. Some theories were confirmed, and one surprised me. Since I was experimenting with thickened dye paste, I thought I’d also work on some white 480M sateen fabric. The sateen is on the left and the “ugly” fabric is on the right.

This first test – on the “ugly” fabric alone – was using Jewels DeColourant Plus – emerald, fuchsia, and navy blue:

Thickened Dye Paste

As you can see from the photo – the top row – the emerald and the fuchsia did just fine, but nothing happened with the navy blue. I used a stamp and painted a good sized swatch so you could see the colors clearly. All the bottles were purchased at the same time, but I think the navy blue chemicals expired.

Then I moved onto using Procion MX-308 Fuchsia. A dash of that was mixed with 2 tsps of thickened sodium alginate, and 1/4 tsp soda ash. It was pretty thick, so I added a bit of water, and used a katazome screen made years ago. The screen worked great, cleaned up beautifully, and that is the faint floral design you see on the second row of the “ugly” fabric. Please double click on the image, as it’s pretty hard to see against the purple fabric.

And believe it or not, the same stencil was used with some Aloe Vera gel and 3 drops of Liquitex ink Naphthol Crimson. It showed up when wet, but this photo was taken after it dried. It totally disappeared. That was the big surprise with this experiment as I thought the ink was opaque.

That was it for experimenting with the “ugly” fabric, but I had left over print paste and used it on the 480M sateen fabric:

First print was with the same stamp I used with the deColourant Plus, and the second print was with a tree screen I made with sheer drapery fabric sandwiched between interfacing, and sealed with latex paint. It’s not very clear, and I’m not very happy with this screen. It will require a do over.

The third print was made with a Mod Podge screen I made a few years ago. This was also made with the same drapery fabric, but Mod Podge was painted around the design, and the print quality is outstanding. Clean up was also a breeze.

This second photo of the 480M sateen was after it was washed and dried:

480M Thickened Dye

Big difference in color, isn’t there?

I didn’t take a second picture of the “ugly” fabric after it was washed, as I totally lost the dyed floral print. I figured I would, but stubborn head me, had to confirm for herself that you really can’t overdye an already dark piece of dyed fabric with another dark dye. Some of us have to learn the hard way, and others take the wisdom of the dye gurus, and don’t waste their time.

My take on the 2014 Ugly Fabric Challenge was when you get a dark fabric, discharge it, then start layering. If you want to leave the dark fabric in place, then use OPAQUE paints, and stencil or draw designs all over it. Or texture it with stitching. Hmmm, now that actually sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe after my table runner is quilted, I’ll tackle that idea. Sounds like fun, true?

Hugs…

Ugly Fabric Challenge 2014 – Subtraction

July 13, 2014

This week I spent some time working on the Ugly Fabric Challenge from the Yahoo Group MXDyers. Barbara – the list owner – loves to dye fabric, and for the past few years, she has given good sized pieces to members who volunteer to alter pieces she’s not crazy about, and we get to keep them. She calls them ugly fabric, but I loved the piece she sent me:

Original

Isn’t that gorgeous? I hardly ever get the depth she manages – even when I dye at 10%.

I cut the fabric in half, and saved one half for an upcoming project, and divided the other half so I could play with subtracting color and adding color. Today’s picture shows the subtraction piece:

subtraction

This was really an experiment in using 2 discharge chemicals. A few days ago, the entire piece was written on with the Clorox Gel Pen and neutralized with Anti-Chlor. I learned that it’s really hard to get a fine line with the Clorox Gel Pen. You had to squeeze and write at the same time, and there are plenty of blobs on the piece because I flat out don’t have the hand strength to maintain even pressure. No even pressure = no even flow = not great writing.

Today I used deColourant and a paint brush. The size of the writing is smaller and much more readable. If I laid just a little deColourant on the fabric, just a little of the color came off. I really like the lighter purple areas in the writing. I had much more control with the paintbrush, and no hand pain.

If I put a heavier amount of deColourant on the brush, the color was almost totally removed. I used a dry iron to discharge the writing, and if I had used a steam iron, it would have been even lighter. The “my” on the first line is very light because first I wrote it with the Clorox Gel Pen, then 2 days later, used the deColourant on top of it.

Can anybody read the writing? If you double click on the photo it will enlarge for you. Hopefully, some of you will be able to make out what I wrote.

A personal side note about what the writing is following, so if you don’t want to read a touchy-feely story, you can stop reading here.

I’m blessed to have my 95 year old Dad in my life. He still lives independently, and is a joy to be around. I call him everyday, visit him at least once a week, and this morning he told me the most wonderful thing. He said when I step foot into his home, his heart opens up, and I’m like a ray of sunshine entering.

Now 3 days ago, I was wondering what to write on this fabric, and I thought of my Dad. Immediately, the song You Are My Sunshine came to mind. It’s truly amazing that we both think of each other the same way.

I couldn’t make up a story like this if I tried, and while I’m trying to be light-hearted about it here, I have to say, he brought tears to my eyes this morning when he told me that.

Hugs…