Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fiber Junkies - Thickened Dyes

At our most recent meeting of FJ, we decided to work with thickened procion mx dyes....something we hadn't done in a long time. Denny showed us some examples of fabric created with dyes.

A lover of spider webs, Denny showed us a good example of how well you can manipulate dyes into patterns.

As always, Denny brought "half of her studio" supplies to share with the group. She thinks of everything...leaves no stone unturned. She also made handouts of some of the techniques...What would we do without her!
Denny's fabric is always so rich with layering of techniques and color so I decided to document her process....She brought thickened and unthickened dyes in squirt and spray bottles. First step was above right where she squirted thickened dyes in several colors on surface of a piece of muslin treated with soda ash. She then flipped it over and used unthickened dyes to spray the back of the piece. Even though the dyes will permeate the fabric, the back will look very different from the front when done.

Next, on the wrong side, she used a roller to smush the dyes around, then squirted more thickened dyes.
Oh well...would you lookie of those old electric burners...what to do with it. Denny made it into a stamping tool just to give it a little more visual texture.

On left above, another sponge roller...then more dye....
then bubble wrap to blot and squish some more. No one step has a tremendous impact but so many steps used consecutively add up to a very rich looking piece of fabric.
Time to roll up in newsprint and put in a steam bath. These can also be batched...but steaming them cuts the time to process and everyone goes home with non-gooky fabric.
Some of mine...following Denny's process...

Here I used a scraper to create fine lines...
and here a sponge from a home improvement store.
I love silk and procion dyes work well on it so I tried some China silk.

When our fabrics were done, they were placed into a bucket of warm sudsy water. Here is one of Denny's....
Here is a piece of deconstructive screen printed fabric I wasn't thrilled with so painted over it.
I was at the same table as Denny so it seems all my pics were of hers or mine....not sure about this one but think it's Denny's.....Everyone was doing some great stuff...and I apologize for not getting more pictures of the time promise to highlight everyone's work...In the meantime, we have to wait until next month when we'll bring our fabric back for show and tell...
I did get one from Susan that is her colors and I love the results....Sorry to make you wait so long but I assure you, the results will be yummy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ice Dyeing

I've been ice dyeing scarves to fill an order at the Folk Art Center where I sell my scarves. I love ice dyeing as the results are usually so pretty and a surprise. You also need a sunny day and we've had so much rain, it's been difficult to find a long stretch of sun.
 So I set up on my back deck, using new cat pans which are the perfect size. I cover the pans with screens to allow the ice and dye to drip through to the pan.
 I'm working with 2 kinds of silk - China (habotai) and crepe du Chine and a rayon. I really love the acid dyes which only work on animal fibers but they have to be boiled and I really wanted to try the procion mx on the silk. The rayons soak up everything like a sponge and give beautiful color. So after the scarves have been soaked in a solution of soda ash and water - around 10 mins...they are rung out and laid on top of the screen.
 Next a layer of ice is placed on top. I usually work with @ 3 procion mx dyes or it can get muddy. You also have to consider that using complimentary colors together will create the third color of some thought has to be put into color choices. I start with the lightest color on first. Using a spoon, I sprinkle the 1st dye in different places around the scarves. I make sure to allow room for the other 2 colors.
 Next comes the 2nd lightest and
 wind up with the third color which is the darkest. At this point, it's hard to tell where there are blank areas so I tend to err on the side of too much. Make sure you always wear a mask and gloves while doing this...and best to do it on a day that is not windy since dye powders are so fine, they migrate very quickly.

 I cover the tray with black plastic, clipped on the side with clothespins and then some old bathroom rugs to act as an insulation. I let them batch overnight although 4 hours or until the ice is well melted would probably work.
Pictures shown are just the rayons and they are quite bright. Whenever I use a different combination of colors, I make a small sample - @ 12 x 14 and label it. It's nice to have a reference when you're making them for a shop. You will never get the same thing twice but you can get the same feel using the same colors.

I like the one on the right and would have no clue what I used but luckily I do have the sample.

The one on the left was an Indigo from a couple of weeks ago but decided it needed some overdyeing...not sure I love it, but I'll include it anyway as many people really like Indigo.
The one above never had yellow used in the orginal dye combination. I must have been using yellow/gold nearby and some drifted over onto this scarf - a happy mistake. The name of this series (noted on hangtag) is called Impressionistic Garden as they do remind me of a colorful flower garden or painting.

Tomorrow is Fiber Junkies with a new skill...Can't wait and will report.