Tuesday, February 08, 2005

It was a good way to spend an hour and half this morning. I've been playing with a design idea in the evenings, but I haven't been happy with the fabrics I've used to. All commercial fabrics, the colors didnt' exactly "play nice".

And, at my last trip to Dharma Trading, I picked up a number of their Pigment Dyes.

So this morning, I cleared my work table, set up my "painting matt", got some white PDF fabric, and got to work.

The directions on the Pigment Dye label suggests you mix the concentrate at a 1:2 or 1:4 rate. I didn't want to do a lot of math. I put a 1/4c of water in each of 6 containers, and added a 1 Tbs. of the pigment dye. Then I tore the white fabric into pieces.. most about the size of a fat quarter and moistened them slightly.

Working from the lightest color (yellow) through the 6 colors I mixed, I painted one plain piece of each to work with. As I finished a piece, I cleaned up with surface with one piece of the PDF fabric.. "mop piece #1". This is my preferred method of cleaning and getting an interesting piece of fabric out of it. I didn't care if very small amounts of color transfer occurred, as long as the piece basically "reads" one color. I even painted bits of the compliment over the top of some, hoping to add some interesting texture. We'll see when they are dried.

After the 7 simple pieces (one piece is a mix of the blue and purple as the purple they used read too red for me.), I loosely painted colors over the other pieces. I would dribble drops of color, them blend from one spot to another, fold, press... just get the color on there.

Each piece was folded and placed in a small plastic baggy to get carried outside to the clothesline. They will hang on the line and dry all day. Tomorrow, I'll press them to heat set the colors and begin work.

My assessment of this process over procion dye? For small batches, this is easier to get from start to finish. And it's a bit easier to get different colors on a piece than I found in using in the dye. However, this would not be economic if one wanted large pieces of color or wanted to easily do a colorway. It's something that has a place, though.

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