Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adventures in Fabric Dyeing, part II

Adventures in dyeing , part II. The night before the workshop, at the last moment, I decided I eeded to prep some already dyed fabric, to get one step ahead of the game. I found several lightly colored pieces from previous workshops, some were done with liquid Rit dye. I soaked them in soda ash mixture, set them out to dry for awhile, then lightly ironed them smooth. I remember Vera saying not to scorch the soda ash with the iron. I set up newspaper to absorb excess wax, on the dining room table, with the skillet set up to melt the wax. I only used a stamping process, covering the entire fat 1/4 with abstract patterns. I used the circle edge of a plastic cup, the bottom of two different thread spools that looked like a half of a lemon, cookie cutter flower and heart shape, and the parralel wires of a pastry blender. I did six pieces of fabric, two of them plain pieces of muslin, not pre-dyed. I am glad I pre made fabric for the batik, it saved alot of time at the dye workshop to have one layer of dye and wax already done.

Arriving at Vera's, I was so jazzed up, I couldn't wait to get strarted. We covered tables with plastic tableclothes, and mixed the dye concentrates into sodium algenate too make thickened dye paste/paint. Quilting Arts mag, recommended the dye be thick like honey, but I thought it needed a little watering down to seap in and spread around easier. Beacuse the soy wax is water soluble you don't want to do imersion dyeing.

I was so focused, so intense!! Just buzzing with excitement! I started painting dye over the already waxed pieces. I used a medium color, green or turquiose. I didn't worry too much about the color outcome, just something in the mid range value wise. The flower piece I added fuschia that came out a nice bright pink. Slapping dye over the entire piece of fabric, no detail painting. I laid the pieces out in the sun to dry the dye, while I worked on the next piece. After they were all dyed, I started melting wax for the next layer. I laid down newspaper and stamped several pieces with extra designs, the spools and pastry cutter. The flowers and circles I painted with a foam brush, leaving the background unwaxed. I also splattered some areas with dots of wax. After the wax had set I used aother layer of dye paint in a darker color, adding navy to anything seamed to work for me. I used a dark green, navy, a red+navy nice dark purple. It was amazing to watch as the background color got darker and the designs with wax stayed in the same bright colors that I had waxed over. The magic of batik! Contrast was more important than color, you need something dark at the end, so your design will stand out. Laying the pieces out to dry at this point, was a mistake! The sun had gotten hotter, and melted the wax. What a sticky mess!! I moved everything into the shade to dry. I couldn't wait to see what it all looked like with out the wax.

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