Saturday, August 12, 2006

New fabric, New Technique

Nothing else gets me out of bed faster on a Saturday morning than hand dyed fabric waiting to be washed out! This is a piece of the 400M pfd I just got from Testfabric and I loved it before I even put the dye on it. Delicate yet strong. We had some dye leftover from over three weeks ago that I stashed in the little beer fridge out on my deck. (It is SO NASTY in there - I put a root beer in the freeze compartment by mistake and it exploded). I wanted to paint directly on the fabric with the dye so I gave it a quick dip in soda ash solution and spread it out on plastic covered picnic table. I read the directions on the alginate thickener but of course, I didn't believe them when they said "a little goes a long way". Instantly I had two pots of clumpy cream of wheat. Dumped the now room temperature dyes in and blended them in as best I could with a whisk which I bent. Gave up on getting smooth thickened dyes to use brushes with and dived right in to grab up handfuls of dye glop and finger/hand paint. It looked like a violent crime scene when I was finished. Covered it over with a sheet of light plastic that barely touched it just to keep the cats off it. It was tough to hand wash the clumps of dye/alginate out but I didn't want to put that stuff through my aging washing machine. Cool results I'm thinking.

2 comments:

joyce said...

It looks neat. I tried potato starch one time. I read about it on the internet but no detailed instructions. I had the same kind of lumpy stuff. I still want to try it again with less starch. It dried to a very interesting organic pattern on the site online. Unfortunately I have lost the address.

marion said...

FWIW, I put my dye liquor into a blender, add the appropriate amount of alginate and whizz...it works magnificently. If you get addicted to dyepainting, this is definitely the way to go...