Friday, June 19, 2009

Colouring & Dyeing - More of Module 7

A requirement of this module was to colour and dye your own selection of fabrics using whatever mediums were available to you.
The only fabric dyeing I'd ever done before had been years ago at a 2 day workshop where we discovered after 2 exhaustive days that the dye powders were past their use-by date and effectively "off" .... and so I went home armed with an assortment of fabrics and threads you could only describe as the colour of dog diarrhoea. Hence I'd never bothered to try it again ... but C&G called, and I had to bite the bullet and have a go - on my own!
I started with the stock standard Dylon cold water dyes. I bought the 3 primary colours, then divided them up to create the secondary and tertiary colours.
It was a mammoth job to calculate the dye, water and fabric volumes and I've possibly gone wrong somewhere because the tertiary colours didn't work out as I'd expected. Instead of a lovely purple I got a plummy-brown and so on, but it was a good lesson.
Above and below are a few of my sample sheets.

I then attempted silk painting. I say attempted because it was my first go at this technique, and although I'm quite pleased with it, I recognise that I've a lot of improving to do.
I used a silk habutai scarf, secured in an embroidery clip frame, and drew the design using clear gutta for the outline of the daisies, and black gutter for the seeds.
The design was filled in using Setasilk paints in buttercup, iris violet, meadow green, raspberry and azur blue.

After I'd filled in the daisies, it looked a bit stark, so I watered down the background fabric, and splodged the silk paints on it, so that they would blend. I then added a few dots of gold Lumiere paint as highlights.

Overall not a bad first attempt. A bit fiddly, but I still think I'd try it again.
Next challenge was to try transfer printing using liquid disperse dyes. I only had three colours: tomatoe, skye and leaf, so my design scope was a bit limited. I draw this bunch of roses and hoped for the best .... and was pleasantly surprised. It worked brilliantly and the colours on the fabric (polyester satin) came up much brighter than on the paper print. Great fun and easy to do.
I was disappointed with the Dylon fabric dyeing, so had a go at using Procion dyes. These were much more successful and I got a lovely range of hues and tones. To create the purple colour scheme I mixed Navy, Fuchsia and Cobalt Blue.

and for the lime green scheme, I mixed Cobalt Blue with Lemon Yellow.

The colours are lovely and not as mottled as the Dylon attempt. I liked using the procion dyes, even though it was a bit painful and frustrating making up the soda ash and salt mixes.
Apart from dyes we were also required to use paints, crayons, felt pens, etc. I liked the Shiva sticks, especially using a stencil or rubbing over a stamp. Easy and quick.
Crayola fabric transfer crayons were also good fun and easy to use.
I love the Luminarte Mini Twinklers watercolour paints and they give a nice shimmer to the fabric but can make it a bit stiff, as it did on the cotton fabric. On the polyester fabric I sprayed water onto the fabric first, then splodged (technical term again!) the paints
haphazardly and the fabric remained quite soft and fluid. My last sample is a salt dry effect using Dya-na-flow on a polyester satin fabric. This was easy to do and created a great effect, although DH thinks it looks like hundreds of penguins.
Dyeing was time consuming and put me out of my comfort zone, but I like the idea of making my own coloured fabrics and will probably continue with it, but just need to build up my stock of dyes and paints (roll on Lotto night!!!!).

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