Patterning fabrics using cold water dyes and fabric paints.
Dyeing is something I have dabbled with over the years, but never really got to grips with. I recently did some dyeing in a plastic bag using Dylon dyes and it was reasonably successful, but because I was given a batch of Procion MX dyes for Christmas, I decided to use these.
Below is the result of my first attempts, pleasing, but not a very good black at all!
For my second attempt, I decided to manipulate the fabrics before adding the dye.
These are the results. In the first picture below, the top left piece was folded and secured with a bulldog clip, which has left rust marks on the fabric. The top right piece was simply scrunched up ( to the right of the bulldog clip folded piece in the picture above). The bottom piece was rolled up and tied into a knot (the piece on the extreme right in the picture above).
In the second picture below, the top left piece is a piece of muslin folded on the diagonal, twisted until it twisted back on itself, and then twisted into a figure of eight (second from the left under the bulldog clip piece). The top right piece is scrunched and wrapped with string, and the bottom piece is folded and wrapped with string ( on the extreme left of the picture above).
I am pleased with the patterns, but still the colour is not very black - a very pleasing colour, but not black!!
This time I used cable ties, which I was able to pull quite tight, to secure the fabric once I had manipulated it.
Stupidly I didn't keep a record of which was which, and I am not entirely sure I can work it out! Here goes. In the picture below, I think the bottom piece is from the top left bundle in the picture above, and the top piece is from the second bundle down on the left.
In this picture, the left piece is definitely the long twisted piece with three cable ties, but I can't be certain about the right piece.
I can't be certain about either of the samples in this next picture.
I decided to put some threads in with this batch. The two left hand hanks are the threads I had used to secure the bundles in the second set of samples, but the remaining threads were all dyed with this set of samples.
For this batch I decided to make a dye bath and fully submerge the pieces.
Here are the results. For some reason, in the picture below, the samples have photographed much lighter than they really are. The swatches in the picture above are more accurate. The middle piece below,which is silk dupion, is by far the darkest sample I achieved, yet it's photographed as a reddy brown.
I've done a bit of batik over the years, but for the first time I used soya wax. It paints on in the same way as beeswax/paraffin wax, doesn't appear to crackle as much, but the real benefit is the ease with which it simply washes out of the cloth leaving no residue at all. These three pieces were all submerged in the dye bath I used for the fourth batch of samples.
Starting from the top, and working left to right, the marks were made with a cork; a paintbrush; a fork; a paintbrush, a paintbrush; a folded piece of cardboard; and a cardboard tube.
These are my second attempts. My first attempts were submerged in the dye bath, and the threads didn't resist the dye, and I got no pattern at all.
For these first two samples I stitched a spiral on an undyed piece of PDF cotton and on a piece I had already dyed. In the left sample, I painted the dye on, and left it for two hours. The right sample I painted with bleach, and only left it for a couple of minutes before washing it.
For this next sample, I stitched a zigzag line of threads, and painted the dye on, leaving it for 2 hours.
This final shibori sample is arashi shibori. I tore a piece of PDF cotton across the entire width of the fabric, wrapped it round a plastic bottle, wrapped some string around it, then ruched the fabric up. I painted the dye on, and left it for two hours. With hindsight, I should also have tried this with a piece of muslin.
This next series of prints were made using transfer dyes. I mixed half a teaspoon of dye in half a cup of water, and made marks on A4 layout paper. Once they were completely dry I ironed them off onto poly cotton. With some papers I ironed them off more than once, with the first print shown on the left.
Starting from the top, the marks were made with a fork; the edge of a piece of cardboard; a stencil made for a previous chapter; a printing block made using corrugated card; the dye dropped on and blown across the paper with a straw; bubble wrap; the edge of a piece of hardboard; and a cardboard tube.
Finally I made a series of monoprints on an A4 piece of plate glass. I used black acrylic paint on both PDF cotton and polycotton.. I some instances I have made two prints, and the first print is to the left.
Starting from the top, the marks were made using the edge of a piece of card; the edge of a piece of card; kitchen towel; a cellulose sheet which I twisted; my fingers; the edge of a piece of card using a circular motion; a piece of card; and bubble wrap.